Disease Expression of Lyme Borreliosis in Northeastern France
Since very little is known about the clinical expression of Lyme borreliosis in Western Europe, a 3-year prospective study was conducted that included all patients seen for suspected Lyme borreliosis at the Strasbourg University Hospital in northeastern France. The diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis was made on the basis of the presence of erythema migrans or on the basis of another suggestive clinical manifestation and laboratory confirmation. A total of 132 patients, 70 women and 62 men, mean age 54 years, had Lyme borreliosis according to these criteria. Within this study group, 77% of the patients were regularly exposed to tick bites and 64% could remember one. Erythema migrans, the most frequent clinical manifestation, occurred in 60% of the patients and was the only sign of Lyme borreliosis in 40%. Lymphocytoma and acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans were rare (1 and 3 patients, respectively). Nervous system involvement (mainly radiculoneuropathy), the second most common clinical manifestation, was found in 40% of the patients and was the only sign of Lyme borreliosis in 22%. Musculoskeletal involvement was present in 26% of the patients and was an isolated finding in 14%. During the study period, no patient was diagnosed with Lyme carditis. There was serological evidence of Lyme borreliosis in 75% of the cases and direct evidence of borrelial infection in 10 (7.5%). The results show that the clinical expression of Lyme borreliosis in northeastern France is similar to that in other European countries but different from that in North America.
KeywordsEuropean Country Clinical Manifestation Direct Evidence System Involvement Clinical Expression
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