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1.  The Role of Game (Wild Boar and Roe Deer) in the Spread of Tick-Borne Encephalitis in the Czech Republic 
Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases  2014;14(11):801-807.
Abstract
In the Czech Republic, the incidence of human tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) has been increasing over the last two decades. At the same time, populations of game have also shown an upward trend. In this country, the ungulate game is the main host group of hosts for Ixodes ricinus female ticks. This study examined the potential contribution of two most widespread game species (roe deer [Capreolus capreolus] and wild boar [Sus scrofa]) to the high incidence of TBE in the Czech Republic, using the annual numbers of culls as a proxy for the game population. This was an ecological study, with annual figures for geographical areas—municipalities with extended competence (MEC)—used as units of analysis. Between 2003 and 2011, a total of 6213 TBE cases were reported, and 1062,308 roe deer and 989,222 wild boars were culled; the culls of roe deer did not demonstrate a clear temporal trend, but wild boar culls almost doubled (from 77,269 to 143,378 per year). Statistical analyses revealed a positive association between TBE incidence rate and the relative number of culled wild boars. In multivariate analyses, a change in the numbers of culled wild boars between the 25th and 75th percentile was associated with TBE incidence rate ratio of 1.23 (95% confidence interval 1.07–1.41, p=0.003). By contrast, the association of TBE with culled roe deer was not statistically significant (p=0.481). The results suggest that the size of the wild boar population may have contributed to the current high levels and the rising trend in incidence of TBE, whereas the regulated population of roe deer does not seem to be implicated in recent geographical or temporal variations in TBE in the Czech Republic.
doi:10.1089/vbz.2013.1569
PMCID: PMC4238255  PMID: 25409271
Tick-borne encephalitis; Incidence; Game; Wild boar; Roe deer
2.  Epidemiology of Tick-Borne Encephalitis in the Czech Republic 1970–2008 
Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases  2012;12(11):994-999.
Abstract
This article presents major epidemiologic features of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) in the Czech Republic, using data of laboratory-confirmed cases since 1970. A total of 17,053 cases of TBE were reported in the Czech Republic (population 10 million) in 1970–2008. The data show several important features. First, the pattern of TBE incidence changed over time. Until the end of the 1970s, TBE was characterized by periods of alternately higher and lower incidence (between 180 and 595 cases per year); the 1980s were a period of low incidence with minimum variability; since the beginning of the 1990s, there has been a steep rise in incidence, with marked year-to-year variation (e.g., 745 cases were registered in 1995, and a maximum of 1029 cases were registered in 2006). Second, the age distribution of TBE incidence has changed. Until the end of 1990s, incidence peaked among those 15–19 years of age, with a gradual decline with age. In the 2000s, however, TBE incidence has been rising in those aged 60–64 years, with a sharp decline in those older than 65 years. Third, the seasonal pattern of TBE has changed markedly over time. In the earlier period, incidence had a clear peak in July/August; since the 1990s, more cases have occurred in earlier and later months of the year. The proportion of cases occurring in April, May, October, and November increased from 9% in the 1970s to 23% in 2000–2008. Fourth, the geographical distribution of TBE also changed over time, with TBE increasingly occurring in the mountainous districts at higher altitudes. These changes in incidence patterns appear to be linked with changes in climatic and meteorological conditions. The link between climate change and TBE incidence is plausible, since TBE is a recreation-related infection associated with outdoor activities, and since climatic changes affect the life cycle of the vector.
doi:10.1089/vbz.2011.0900
PMCID: PMC3491623  PMID: 23025693
Climate variation; Epidemiology; Surveillance; Tick-borne encephalitis; Vector-borne
3.  Control of Occupational Hepatitis B Among Healthcare Workers in the Czech Republic, 1982 to 1995 
Occupational hepatitis B remains a threat to healthcare workers (HCWs) worldwide, even with availability of an effective vaccine. Despite limited resources for public health, the Czech Republic instituted a mandatory vaccination program for HCWs in 1983. Annual incidence rates of acute hepatitis B were followed prospectively through 1995. Despite giving vaccine intradermally from 1983 to 1989 and intramuscularly as half dose from 1990 to 1995, rates of occupational hepatitis B decreased dramatically, from 177 cases per 100,000 workers in 1982 (before program initiated) to 17 cases per 100,000 in 1995. Among high-risk workers, the effect was even more dramatic (from 587 to 23 per 100,000). We conclude that strong public-health leadership led to control of occupational hepatitis B among HCWs in the Czech Republic, despite limited resources that precluded administering full-dose intramuscular vaccine for much of the program. Application of a similar program should be considered for other countries in regions that currently do not have a hepatitis B vaccination program.
doi:10.1086/501771
PMCID: PMC2925678  PMID: 10823572

Results 1-3 (3)