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Serological evidence of Lyme borreliosis in Africa: results from studies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


Investigations were performed on sera from blood donors, pregnant women, patients with polyarthritis and from patients with clinical suspicion of syphilis in Dar es Salaam using Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) flagellar antigen in a second generation ELISA test from DAKO A/S, Denmark, for specific IgM or IgG antibodies. An IgM and or IgG seropositivity rate of 30/100 (30%), 19/50 (7.2%), 10/20 (50%) and 11/20 (55%) was found in sera from the respective groups. These results compare with a Bb seroprevalence rate of 4/100 (4%), 1/52 (2%) and 363/5024 (7.2%) in blood donors, in pregnant women and in patients investigated serologically for
Lyme borreliosis (Lb) respectively in Bergen, Norway, where cases of Lb are detected regularly. The high prevalence of antibodies to Bb flagellar antigen in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where clinical conditions including erythema migrans, arthritis, mycocarditis and CNS diseases as well as tickbites are found call for further clinical, entomological and laboratory investigations.

East Afr Med J. 1996 Sep;73(9):583-5. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t [1]