European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 17, Issue 9, pp 891–896 | Cite as

Seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in Romania

  • Adriana Hristea
  • Sanda Hristescu
  • Constantin Ciufecu
  • Adriana Vasile


In order to assess the seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in Romania and to define associated risk factors, a cross-sectional, observational study was performed in 13 districts during 1999. Sera from healthy blood donors (1598) and from forestry workers (1048) were tested. A two-step testing strategy was used in which sera were tested for anti-B. burgdorferi antibodies by a commercially available passive hemagglutination assays (PHA). All PHA positive sera were then evaluated by Western blot IgG. Demographic data regarding age, sex, profession, work place/residence, duration of employment (forestry workers), animals in the environment, and tick bites history were collected using a questionnaire. Data obtained from serological study were matched with that obtained from the questionnaire. The seroprevalence of B. burgdorferi in blood donors was of 4.3% (range 1.4–8.7%) and 9.3% (range 2.8–31.7%) in forestry workers. Seroprevalence was higher in forestry workers with a tick bite history (10.7 vs. 4.3%, p < 0.05). The highest seroprevalence in blood donors (8.7%) was noted in Maramures, a northern district of the country, whereas in forestry workers the highest seroprevalence (31.7%) was observed in a western district (Arad), where a previous study in entomology has demonstrated the highest density of Ixodes ricinus ticks in Romania.

Asymptomatic infection Borrelia burgdorferi Romania Seroprevalence 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Rath PM, Ibershoff B, Mohnhaupt A, et al. Seroprevalence of lyme borreliosis in forestry workers from Brandenburg, Germany. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 1996; 15: 372–377.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Pejcoch M, Kralikova Z, Strnad P, et al. Prevalence of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi in forestry workers of south Moravia. Zentralblatt fur Bakteriologie 1988; (Suppl. 18): 317–320.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Moll van Charante AW, Groen J, Mulder PGH, et al. Occupational risks of zoonotic infections in Dutch forestry workers and muskrat catchers. Eur J Epidemiol 1998; 14: 109–116.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Burek V, Misik-Mayerus L, Maretic T. Antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi in various population groups in Croatia. Scand J Infect Dis 1992; 24: 683–684.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Christiann F, Rayet P, Patey O, et al. Lyme borreliosis in central France: A sero-epidemiologic examination involving hunters. Eur J Epidemiol 1997; 13: 855.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gustafson R, Forsgren M, Gardulf A, et al. Antibody prevalence and clinical manifestations of Lyme borreliosis and tick-borne encephalitis in Swedish orienteers. Scand J infect Dis 1993; 25: 605–611.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Steere AC. Lyme disease. N Engl J Med 2001; 345(2): 115–125.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pop D, Dutschak K, Rosiu N, et al. Un caz de boala Lyme detectat în România. Bacteriologia, Virusologia, Parazitologia. Epidemiologia 1995; 40(3–4): 245–247.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Caăruntu F, Angelescu C, Caăruntu V, et al. Aspecte clinice sş de laborator ale infecţiei cu Borrelia burgdorferi în România. Viaţa Medicală 1988; 35(8): 353–357.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Crăcea E, Constantinescu S, Balaci L, et al. Lyme borreliosis in Romania. Arch Roum Path Exp Microbiol 1988; 47(1): 17–21.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommendations for test performance and interpretation from the Second National Conference on Serologic Diagnosis of Lyme Disease. MMWR 1995; 44(31): 590–591.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Norman LG, Antig MJ, Bigaignon G, et al. Serodiagnosis of Lyme borreliosis by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. garinii, and B. afzelii Western blots (Immunoblots). J Clin Microbiol 1996; 34(70): 1732–1738.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tugwell P, Dennis DT, Weinstein A, et al. Laboratory evaluation in the diagnosis of Lyme disease. Ann Intern Med 1997; 127: 1106–1123.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wormser GP, Aguero-Rosenfeld ME, Nadelman RB. Lyme disease serology: Problems and opportunities. JAMA 1999; 282(1): 79–80.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hamann-Brand A, Flondor M, Brade V. Evaluation of passive hemagglutination assays screening test and of a recombinant immunoblot as con.rmatory test for serological diagnosis of Lyme disease. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 1994; 13(7): 572–575.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Raoult D, Hechemy KE, Baranton C. Cross-reaction with Borrelia burgdorferi antigen of sera from patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection, syphilis and leptospirosis. J Clin Microbiol 1989; 27: 2152–2155.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Feider Z. Arachnida. In: Fauna Republicii Populare Romane, 5(20). Bucuresti: Editura Academiei RPR, 1965; 84–121.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adriana Hristea
    • 1
  • Sanda Hristescu
    • 2
  • Constantin Ciufecu
    • 2
    • 3
  • Adriana Vasile
    • 4
  1. 1.Infectious Diseases Department, Institute of Infectious Diseases ‘Prof Dr Matei Bals’University of Medicine and Pharmacy ‘Carol Davila’BucharestRomania
  2. 2.Institute of Microbiology ‘Cantacuzino’Romania
  3. 3.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of Medicine and Pharmacy ‘Carol Davila’BucharestRomania
  4. 4.Department of Public Health and ManagementUniversity of Medicine and Pharmacy ‘Carol Davila’Bucharest, BucurestiRomania

Personalised recommendations