Faculté des sciences

The Prevalence and Incidence of Clinical and Asymptomatic Lyme Borreliosis in a Population at Risk

Fahrer, Heinz ; van der Linden, Sjef M. ; Sauvain, Marie-Josephe ; Gern, Lise ; Zhioua, Elyes ; Aeschlimann, André

In: Journal of Infectious Diseases (The), 1991, vol. 163, p. 305-310

A past history of clinical Lyme borreliosis and the 6-month incidence of clinical and asymptomatic Lyme borreliosis was studied prospectively in a high-risk population. In the spring, blood samples were drawn from 950 Swiss orienteers, who also answered a questionnaire. IgG anti-Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies were detected by ELISA. Positive IgG antibodies were seen in 248 (26.1%), in... Plus

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    Summary
    A past history of clinical Lyme borreliosis and the 6-month incidence of clinical and asymptomatic Lyme borreliosis was studied prospectively in a high-risk population. In the spring, blood samples were drawn from 950 Swiss orienteers, who also answered a questionnaire. IgG anti-Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies were detected by ELISA. Positive IgG antibodies were seen in 248 (26.1%), in contrast to 3.9%-6.0% in two groups of controls (n = 101). Of the orienteers, 1.9%-3.1% had a past history of definite or probable clinical Lyme borreliosis. Six months later a second blood sample was obtained from 755 participants, 558 (73.9%) of whom were seronegative initially; 45 (8.1%) had seroconverted from negative to positive. Only 1 (2.2%) developed clinical Lyme borreliosis. Among all participants, the 6-month incidence of clinical Lyme borreliosis was 0.8% (6/755) but was much higher (8.1%) for asymptomatic seroconversion (45/558). In conclusion, positive Lyme serology was common in Swiss orienteers, but clinical disease occurred infrequently.