Risk of acquiring tick-borne infections in forestry workers from Lazio, Italy
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- Di Renzi, S., Martini, A., Binazzi, A. et al. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis (2010) 29: 1579. doi:10.1007/s10096-010-1028-6
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The seroprevalence of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus was evaluated in a group of forestry rangers in the Lazio region of Italy. One hundred and forty-five forestry rangers and 282 blood donors were examined by two-tiered serological tests for B. burgdorferi and TBE virus. Information on occupation, residence, tick bites, outdoor leisure activities and other risk factors was obtained. The prevalence of IgG/IgM antibodies to B. burgdorferi showed no statistical difference between the two groups, but there was a higher occurrence of IgM antibodies. There were significant differences between indoor and outdoor, urban and rural workplaces among the 145 exposed workers (χ2 test: p < 0.001), and a higher risk for outdoor rural than urban tasks was detected among the ten Western blot-tested forestry rangers positive to B. burgdorferi (χ2 test: p < 0.1). No seropositivity was observed for the TBE virus. Forestry rangers from the Lazio region did not have a higher risk of Borrelia infection than the blood donors, though an increase in the risk for outdoor tasks in a rural environment was observed.