ASSOCIATION OF SEROPREVALENCE AND RISK FACTORS IN LYME DISEASE
CENTRAL EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Authors: Busova, Andrea; Dorko, Erik; Feketeova, Eva; Rimarova, Kvetoslava; Diabelkova, Jana; Rovenska, Timea; Csank, Tomas
Objective: The aim of the presented cross-sectional seroepidemiological study was to determine the current presence of antibodies against B. burgdorferi s.l. in the groups of Slovak population, and to identify potential risk factors to Lyme borreliosis. Methods: A group of 261 adults (patients from the Neurological Clinic with possible symptoms of LB and healthy persons with possible working exposure to tick bite: gardeners and soldiers working in afforested areas) were examined in order to assess the seroprevalence of anti-Borrelia antibodies. Sera were screened by commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The respondents completed questionnaires with general demographic, epidemiological and clinical data. Results: We detected 17.2% presence of positive IgG and 5.7% presence of positive IgM antibodies in all investigated groups. Our results confirmed that the following risk factors such as age and gender are significantly associated with the presence of positive specific antibodies against investigated disease. Conclusion: The results of seroprevalence obtained in the present study confirm the possibility of infection with B. burgdorferi among respondents exposed to contact with ticks.
Molecular screening for bacterial pathogens in ticks (Ixodes ricinus) collected on migratory birds captured in northern Italy
Authors: Pajoro, Massimo; Pistone, Dario; Boccazzi, Ilaria Varotto; Mereghetti, Valeria; Bandi, Claudio; Fabbi, Massimo; Scattorin, Francesco; Sassera, Davide; Montagna, Matteo
Migratory birds have an important role in transporting ticks and associated tick-borne pathogens over long distances. In this study, 2,793 migratory birds were captured by nets in a ringing station, located in northern Italy, and checked for the presence of ticks. Two-hundred and fifty-one ticks were identified as nymphs and larvae of Ixodes ricinus (Linnaeus, 1758) and they were PCR-screened for the presence of bacteria belonging to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Rickettsia spp., Francisella tularensis and Coxiella burnetii. Four species of Borrelia (B. garinii, B. afzelii, B. valaisiana and B. lusitaniae) and three species of Rickettsia (R. monacensis, R. helvetica and Candidatus Rickettsia mendelii) were detected in 74 (30%) and 25 (10%) respectively out of 251 ticks examined. Co-infection with Borrelia spp. and Rickettsia spp. in the same tick sample was encountered in 7 (7%) out of the 99 infected ticks. We report for the first time the presence of Candidatus Rickettsia mendelii in I. ricinus collected on birds in Italy. This study, besides confirming the role of birds in dispersal of I. ricinus, highlights an important route by which tick-borne pathogens might spread across different countries and from natural environments towards urbanised areas.