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From January 1995 to July 1998, 340 serum samples collected in Central Italy from patients clinically suspected of having
Lyme borreliosis were investigated. All samples were tested for the presence of antibodies to B. burgdorferi by Elisa. The Elisa positive samples were subjected to further tests by Western Blot for confirmation. Out of 340 patients, 13 (3.8%) proved to be B. burgdorferi positive, while 9 (2.6%) were found to have
Lyme disease with seroprevalence being higher in these latter than that of blood donors from Central Italy. Our results indicate that
Lyme borreliosis is present in Central Italy. A comparison between Italian and European studies reveals that
Lyme disease is still underestimated in Italy, the main reason being that a monitoring system for the study of
Lyme borreliosis was only established in 1990.