The International Scientific Working Group on Tick-Borne Encephalitis (ISW TBE): Review of 17 years of activity and commitment.Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2016; 7(3):399-404TT
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) has been a growing public health problem in Europe and other parts of the world for the past 20 years. In 1999, in order to encourage the control of TBE, international experts created a new body: The International Scientific Working Group on Tick-Borne Encephalitis (ISW-TBE). This Working Group has been composed of internationally recognized scientific experts from tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEv)-endemic and non-endemic regions with extensive personal expertise in the field and a high level of commitment to improve the knowledge of TBE and to increase the public awareness of TBE. Since the foundation of the Working Group, ISW-TBE members meet annually. Every meeting is dedicated to a specific topic, and since 2004 a yearly conference report has been published to inform the scientific community about the latest developments. Among the specific issues that have been extensively discussed over the years were the following: clinical aspects of the disease, TBE in children and golden agers, epidemiology, possible causes for the increase in TBE incidence in Europe, TBE and awareness, TBE and travel, (low) vaccination rates, and the cooperation with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). This paper gives an overview of the most important activities and achievements of the ISW-TBE over the past 17 years.