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Borrelia-infection rates in tick and insect vectors accompanying human risk of acquiring Lyme borreliosis in a highly endemic region in Central Europe.

Abstract

The methods of spatial statistics were applied to assess the geographical pattern of risk of
Lyme borreliosis in Central Bohemia, the Czech Republic, based on retrospective data on
disease contractions. The statistical risk was then compared at 15 selected localities with the infection challenge presented by ticks and insects carrying borreliae. Over 5,000 Ixodes ricinus (L.) ticks and 390 haematophagous dipterans were screened by direct immunofluorescence method, and the spatial and seasonal variance of infection rates were studied. Infected ticks were found at each locality throughout the warm season; in nymphs, sample infection rates ranged from 4.9% to 23.1% with a mean of 14.5% in spring, from 7.7% to 28.7% with a mean of 16.1% in summer, and from 7% to 20.6% with a mean of 13.6% in autumn. The statistical risk was found to correlate well with an average nymphal infection challenge, i.e. I. ricinus nymphal abundance x infection rate, at a given locality. Statistically significant cumulation of insect-history recalling patients into several, generally wetland, areas was ascertained; borreliae were revealed in 0.5% of the dipterans examined.

Folia Parasitol (Praha). 1998;45(4):319-25. [1]