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Incidence and cumulative frequency of endemic Lyme disease in a community.


We conducted an epidemiological study of the cumulative frequency and incidence of
Lyme disease in a summer community on Fire Island, New York, an area endemic for the
disease. Fifteen (7.5%) of 200 persons studied in the community in 1982 reported a history of
Lyme disease. An indirect immunofluorescent antibody assay showed that seventeen (9.7%) of 176 persons had serological evidence of exposure to the
Lyme spirochete, including six of the 15 persons with a history of
Lyme disease. Seven (0.7%-1.2%) of 600-1,000 persons in the community developed clinical symptoms and serological evidence of
Lyme disease during the summer season, including two (1%) of the 200 persons in the study group. Four (3.1%) of 129 persons who had sera collected before and after the summer season demonstrated fourfold or greater rises in IgG antibody titers to the
Lyme spirochete, including 2 (1.6%) persons without symptoms of
Lyme disease. We conclude that the incidence of
Lyme disease can be appreciably higher in endemic areas than previously recognized and that subclinical or inapparent seroconversion may occur after infection.

J Infect Dis. 1984 Oct;150(4):489-96. [1]