A serological study of antibodies to Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in the sera of healthy individuals collected two decades apart
Sera collected from healthy individuals from the general population in the Czech Republic during repeated cross-sectional surveys were analyzed. Samples collected in the same six districts in two time periods, 1978–1989 and 2001, were compared. The study subjects were divided into six age categories between 10 and 59 years. Overall, 434 samples from 1978–1989 and 270 samples from 2001 were screened for Anaplasma phagocytophilum (AP) and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (BB). The antiAP positivity rates were 13.1% and 11.5% in the first and second period, respectively, and did not differ significantly between the periods (P = 0.559). The anti-BB antibodies were detected in 33.9% and 14.8% of study subjects, respectively. The positivity rates were significantly lower in the second period (P>0.001). No considerable changes were observed in the sex distribution of positive findings between the two periods. The highest positivity rates of anti-AP antibodies were found in the 10–14 year age group: 16.0% in 1978–1989 and 16.7% in 2001. The age distribution of the anti-AP antibody positivity rates did not change substantially (P = 0.872). In 1978–1989, the lowest anti-BB antibody positivity rate (26.7%) was found in the 10–14 year age group, with a gradual increase with age to 41.1% in 50–59 year-olds. In 2001, the positivity rate in the 10–14 year age group was 26.2% and was not significantly different from that in the first period (P = 0.955). However, the positivity rates in the older age groups 15–59 years decreased significantly (P<0.001) and varied between 8.3% and 15.1%.
KeywordsBorrelia burgdorferi Anaplasma antibodies distribution epidemiology
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