Ticks can transmit different viral, bacterial and parasitic infectious agents to a person during blood feeding. Alongside Borrelia, which causes Lyme borreliosis, the most frequent tick-borne disease in the northern hemisphere, the range of pathogens include TBE virus, Crimean-Congo fever virus, Anaplasma, Rickettsia, Babesia, Ehrlichia and Coxiella. Depending on the pathogen, tick-borne infections may lead to various clinical symptoms, with involvement of, for example, the skin, joints, muscles, inner organs and central nervous system. Disease courses range from asymptomatic or subclinical to severe and life-threatening. Since there are only vaccines to some of the tick-borne pathogens, exposition prophylaxis is the most effective protection measure.
Laboratory diagnostics of tick-borne infections are based on direct and indirect detection methods. Direct procedures include e.g. blood smears, pathogen cultures or PCR-based tests, while indirect detection is mainly based on the detection of specific antibodies against the respective pathogen in patient serum, plasma or CSF. Detection of antibodies is the most important laboratory diagnostic method in cases where it is difficult to obtain suitable sample materials for direct detection, or the amount of pathogen in the sample is too low. For antibody determination in cases of suspected tick-borne infection, EUROIMMUN offers a wide range of serological test systems, including ELISAs, ChLIAs, immunofluorescence tests (IIFT), immunoblots and Soon available! EUROMicroblots, miniaturised immunoblots in microplate format.
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