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Suspected tick-borne flavivirus meningoencephalomyelitis in dogs from the UK: six cases (2021)

Gonzalo-Nadal, V; Kohl, A; Rocchi, M; Brennan, B; Hughes, J; Nichols, J; Filipe, AD; Dunlop, JI; Fares, M; Clark, JJ; Tandavanitj, R; Patel, AH; Cloquell-Miro, A; Bongers, J; Deacon, J; Kaczmarska, A; Stalin, C; Liatis, T; Irving, J; Gutierrez-Quintana, R


V Gonzalo-Nadal

A Kohl

M Rocchi

B Brennan

J Hughes

J Nichols

AD Filipe

JI Dunlop

M Fares

JJ Clark

R Tandavanitj

AH Patel

A Cloquell-Miro

J Bongers

J Deacon

A Kaczmarska

C Stalin

T Liatis

J Irving

R Gutierrez-Quintana


Objectives: Tick-borne encephalitis virus and louping ill virus are neurotropic flaviviruses transmitted by ticks. Epidemiologically, tick-borne encephalitis is endemic in Europe whereas louping ill's predominant geographical distribution is the UK. Rarely, these flaviviruses affect dogs causing neurological signs. This case series aimed to describe the clinical, clinicopathological, and imaging findings, as well as the outcomes in six dogs with meningoencephalitis and/or meningomyelitis caused by a flavivirus in the UK in 2021.Materials and Methods: Observational retrospective case-series study. Clinical data were retrieved from medical records of dogs with positive serological or immunohistochemical results from three different institutions from spring to winter 2021.Results: Six dogs were included in the study. All dogs presented an initial phase of pyrexia and/or lethargy followed by progressive signs of spinal cord and/or intracranial disease. Magnetic resonance imaging showed bilateral and symmetrical lesions affecting the grey matter of the thalamus, pons, medulla oblongata, and thoracic or lumbar intumescences with none or mild parenchymal and meningeal contrast enhancement. Serology for tick-borne encephalitis virus was positive in five dogs with the presence of seroconversion in two dogs. The viral distinction between flaviviruses was not achieved. One dog with negative serology presented positive immunohistochemistry at post-mortem examination. Three dogs survived but presented neurological sequelae. Three dogs were euthanased due to the rapid progression of the clinical signs or static neurological signs.


Gonzalo-Nadal, V., Kohl, A., Rocchi, M., Brennan, B., Hughes, J., Nichols, J., …Gutierrez-Quintana, R. (2023). Suspected tick-borne flavivirus meningoencephalomyelitis in dogs from the UK: six cases (2021). Journal of Small Animal Practice,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 1, 2023
Online Publication Date Nov 13, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Dec 20, 2023
Publicly Available Date Dec 20, 2023
Print ISSN 0022-4510
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed


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