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arkiv - Diagnosis of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)

Laboratory analysis is necessary for TBE diagnosis, especially since there are many other agents that can cause encephalitis.

Standard laboratory methods for diagnosis are simultaneous examination of both serum and cerebrospinal fluid for specific IgM and IgG antibodies against TBE virus using an ELISA-test. There are two laboratories in Norway performing antibody studies of TBE virus; Sørlandet Hospital in Kristiansand and the Department of Virology at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The latter is the reference laboratory for TBE virus in Norway.

Detection of viral RNA is applicable when the sample is taken in the viremic first phase of the disease, and possibly if there is a severe disease course. The Department of Virology at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health performs molecular genetic detection of TBE virus in serum or cerebrospinal fluid.