European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 117–123

Longterm survey (7 years) in a population at risk for Lyme borreliosis: What happens to the seropositive individuals?


  • H. Fahrer
    • Lindenhofspital
  • M.J. Sauvain
    • Department of RheumatologyUniversity of Bern
  • E. Zhioua
    • Center for Vector Borne Diseases ResearchUniversity of Rhode Island
  • C. Van Hoecke
    • SmithKline Beech am Biologicals
  • L.E. Gern
    • Department of Parasitology, Institute of ZoologyUniversity of Neuchâtel

DOI: 10.1023/A:1007404620701

Cite this article as:
Fahrer, H., Sauvain, M., Zhioua, E. et al. Eur J Epidemiol (1998) 14: 117. doi:10.1023/A:1007404620701


In 1986, a 26% seroprevalence of IgG- anti-Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies was observed among 950 orienteers and the incidence of new clinical infections was 0.8%. In 1993, a total of 305 seropositive orienteers were reexamined. During that time, 15 cases (4.9%) of definite/probable Lyme disease occurred in this seropositive group (12 skin manifestations and 3 monoarticular joint manifestations). Among the 12 definite cases, 9 showed new clinical infections (7 EM, 1 acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans, 1 arthritis), and 3 were recurrent (2 EM, 1 arthritis). The annual incidence (0.8%) in this seropositive group was identical to the incidence observed among the whole population in 1986. The individual antibody titer decreased slightly but the seroreversion rate was low (7%). Serology was not very helpful in identifying clinical cases and evolutions, and it can be stated, that a positive serology is much more frequent in this risk group than clinical disease.

Longterm surveyLyme borreliosisOrienteersPopulation at risk

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998