Prevalence of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) in samples of raw milk taken randomly from cows, goats and sheep in eastern Poland

Ann Agric Environ Med. 2010;17(2):283-6.


A total of 119 unpasteurized milk samples taken from 63 cows, 29 goats and 27 sheep bred on 8 farms situated on the territory of the Lublin province (eastern Poland), an area of risk of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), were examined for the presence of RNA of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) by the nested RT-PCR method. Milk samples were also tested for the presence of anti-TBEV antibodies by ELISA test. By RT-PCR, the greatest prevalence of TBE virus was found in the milk of sheep (22.2%), followed by milk of goats (20.7%) and cows (11.1%). By ELISA, the greatest prevalence of anti- TBEV antibodies was found also in the milk of sheep (14.8%), followed by milk of cows (3.2%) and goats (0%). The results suggest a potential risk of infection with TBEV by drinking raw milk on endemic areas of TBE, and indicate a need for milk pasteurization before consumption.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Cattle
  • Encephalitis Viruses, Tick-Borne / genetics
  • Encephalitis Viruses, Tick-Borne / isolation & purification*
  • Encephalitis, Tick-Borne / veterinary*
  • Encephalitis, Tick-Borne / virology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / veterinary
  • Female
  • Goats
  • Milk / virology*
  • RNA, Viral / chemistry
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / veterinary
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sheep


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • RNA, Viral