Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus, Coxiella burnetii & Brucella spp. in Milk, Kazakhstan
Raw milk was collected from cows in western Kazakhstan in winter 2014-2015. Samples were defatted and frozen at -20C, then tested as follows. For tick-borne encephalitis virus, 65 samples were tested using the VectorBest TBEV antigen capture kit, with 9% positive. For Coxiella burnetii, 50 samples were assayed using a species-specific qPCR assay and all were negative, though positive controls were consistently positive. For Brucella spp., PCR, ELISA and FPA testing is ongoing, with some positive results. These data suggest that consumption of raw cow's milk in western Kazakhstan is a risk factor for tick-borne encephalitis and brucellosis. The risk for Q fever appears to be small during winter, but may be present at other times of the year.