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Prevalence of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi and tick-borne encephalitis virus in an endemic region in southern Germany.

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Abstract

With the intention to evaluate the frequency of asymptomatic infections with TBE virus and B. burgdorferi clinical data and serum specimens were collected from 393 individuals living in an area endemic for both agents (Freiburg, southern Germany). Sera were examined by ELISA. Borderline and positive results were checked by immunoblotting. Only specific antibodies detected by immunoblotting (B. burgdorferi: 22 kDa, 31 kDa, 34 kDa, 39 kDa, 83 kDa; TBE: glycoprotein E) were assessed as positive findings. Specific antibodies to B. burgdorferi were detected in 17/105 individuals with possible symptoms of borreliosis (16%) and in 36/288 individuals without current or previous symptoms of borreliosis (12.5%). Antibody to TBE virus was demonstrated in 34/361 individuals (9.4%) without clinical symptoms of TBE or vaccination against TBE. Thirty individuals had been immunised against TBE (10.6%) and two had clinical TBE one year ago. Antibodies against both agents were detected only in 1.5% of all subjects. Considering the low seroprevalence, antibody screening is not recommended prior to TBE vaccination.

Zentralbl Bakteriol. 1997 Nov;286(4):534-41. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t

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