Haneul Jung, Chi-Hwan Choi, Minji Lee, Seong-Yoon Kim, Bekbolsun Aknazarov, Rysbek Nyrgaziev, Nurzina Atabekova, Elmurat Jetigenov, Yoon-Seok Chung, Hee-Il Lee

Molecular Detection and Phylogenetic Analysis of Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus from Ticks Collected from Cattle in Kyrgyzstan, 2023

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

Ticks are important vectors of the tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). In Kyrgyzstan, the livestock farming trade and nomadic lifestyle enable tick-borne diseases to be imported from neighboring countries, but there are few relevant studies. In this study, we collected 40 ticks from cattle in Kyrgyzstan. Molecular marker analysis identified the ticks as Ixodes persulcatus (97.5%; n = 39) and Haemaphysalis punctata (2.5%; n = 1). Real-time PCR screening revealed two ticks to be positive for TBEV, but only one tick was amplified using nested PCR targeting the TBEV envelope (E) and non-structure 5 (NS5) gene. The obtained sequences belonged to the TBEV Siberian subtype and phylogenetic tree analysis results confirmed that the virus was related to the Bosnia strain. We also performed next-generation sequencing, which confirmed the TBEV Siberian subtype. Continuous research and surveillance of TBEV in Kyrgyzstan are required to provide further information on tick-borne diseases.

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