Seroprevalence of Rickettsia spp. infection among tick-bitten patients and blood donors in Sweden
2008 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases, ISSN 0036-5548, E-ISSN 1651-1980, Vol. 40, no 1, 74-77 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Serum samples from 236 Swedish patients with symptoms of infectious disease appearing after a tick bite were analysed for the presence of antibodies to Rickettsia helvetica, the only rickettsial species so far isolated from ticks in Sweden. Of these subjects, 137 had tested seropositive for Borrelia burgdorferi. For control purposes, sera from 161 healthy blood donors were examined. A total of 10/397 samples (2.6%) showed IgG-antibodies to R. helvetica at or above a titre of 1/80 as cut-off. 6/137 (4.4%) belonged to the Borrelia positive group, 3/99 (3.0%) to the tick-bitten but Borrelia negative group and 1/161 (0.6%) to the control group. The difference between the tick-exposed groups and the control group was significant in Pearson's 2-sided chi(2) test. In 1 serum sample the presence of antibodies to R. helvetica was further confirmed by Western immunoblot. The study shows that infection with Rickettsia spp. as well as coinfection with Lyme borreliosis needs to be considered in the diagnosis of tick-transmitted infections in Sweden. Owing to a known occurrence of immunological cross-reactivites, however, the results must be cautiously interpreted with regard to species of Rickettsia involved.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 40, no 1, 74-77 p.
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-103987DOI: 10.1080/00365540701509907ISI: 000252311200014PubMedID: 17852905OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-103987DiVA: diva2:219153