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
  • M.J. Sauvain
  • E. Zhioua
  • C. Van Hoecke
  • L.E. Gern


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 survey Lyme borreliosis Orienteers Population at risk 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Fahrer
    • 1
  • M.J. Sauvain
    • 2
  • E. Zhioua
    • 3
  • C. Van Hoecke
    • 4
  • L.E. Gern
    • 5
  1. 1.LindenhofspitalBern
  2. 2.Department of RheumatologyUniversity of BernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Center for Vector Borne Diseases ResearchUniversity of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA
  4. 4.SmithKline Beech am BiologicalsRixensartBelgium
  5. 5.Department of Parasitology, Institute of ZoologyUniversity of NeuchâtelSwitzerland

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