One-year Follow-up of Tick-borne Central Nervous System Infections in Childhood

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 05/31/2012

Engman ML et al. – Pediatric tick–borne encephalitis (TBE) results in long–lasting residual symptoms and neurologic deficits affecting daily life. Vigilance for TBE–related morbidity among pediatricians and long–term clinical follow–up with assessment of cognitive dysfunctions and appropriate interventions seems reasonable for these children.

Methods

  • From a previous prospective study, children diagnosed with TBE (n = 8) and NB (n = 12) as well as pediatric controls (n = 15) were followed up by clinical examination, semistructured interview and screening for cognitive dysfunction by the Five-to-Fifteen Questionnaire.
  • The follow-up also included detection of serum autoantibodies against the neural proteins; glial fibrillary acidic protein and myelin basic protein, as well as genotyping of a 32 basepair deletion in the chemokine receptor type 5 gene.

Results

  • Children diagnosed with TBE displayed significantly more long-term subjective complaints (ie, fatigue, headache and irritability) compared with the NB and control groups.
  • Significantly higher frequency of disabilities was also detected by the Five-to-Fifteen Questionnaire in the TBE group. Both TBE and NB cause consequences (eg, prolonged convalescence, worries and financial loss) for the families.
  • Markers for genetic susceptibility and brain damage had no prognostic values in this cohort.

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