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Seroepidemiological study of Lyme borreliosis among forestry workers in southern Poland.

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Abstract

Forestry workers are a professional group particularly exposed to tick-borne infections; however, continuous monitoring of anti-Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies in this group enables faster diagnosis and more effective treatment for borreliosis. A group of 1,155 forestry workers from six forest inspectorates in southern Poland were examined with the immunoenzymatic method (ELISA test). The general level of anti-Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies was 12.8 % in IgM class, and 25 % in IgG class. Markedly more seropositive results were found in the group of fieldworkers (13.8 % – IgM and 25.0 % – IgG) than in office workers (10.0 % – IgM and 13.7 % – IgG). The highest proportions of infections both in IgM and IgG class (17.4 % and 34.8 %, respectively) were recorded in the group of persons over 50 years of age, the lowest – in the group of workers younger than 30 (IgM – 13.0 %, IgG – 14.1%). Significant differences in the level of seropositive results in IgG class were related to the workers’ gender – in women the percentage was 9.8 %, in men – 28.1 %. It was found that in the studied region of southern Poland, considered to be non-endemic, borreliosis occurs as a health risk to forestry workers.

Ann Agric Environ Med. 2009 Dec;16(2):257-61.

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