Comparison of clinical symptoms in Lyme disease (LD) in various age groups.
150 patients with verified LD were divided into 4 age groups: under 15 years (group 1), 16-40 years (group 2), 41-60 years (group 3), over 60 years (group 4). Antibodies to Borrelia burgdorteri were detected with indirect immunofluorescence and Western blot.
LD clinical symptoms differed in the age groups. Patients of group 1 had more prevalent infectious syndrome with fever but they had no radiculoneuritis and polyneuritis. Patients of group 2 more frequently suffered of carditis and secondary erythema. Groups 3 and 4 were characterized by infectious syndrome, secondary erythema and aseptic meningitis, joint lesions being more frequent in group 3, nervous system lesions--in group 4.
Age peculiarities of LD symptoms are very important. In particular, joint syndrome is responsible for lingering course of LD.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the antibody responses to different VlsE protein IR(6) peptide variants and the synthetic C6 peptide in acute and convalescent (2-3 and 6 months) serum samples from Swedish patients with clinical erythema migrans (EM). Serum samples were prospectively collected from 148 patients with EM and compared to serum samples obtained from 200 healthy blood donors. The IgG responses to 3 IR(6) peptide variants originating from Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi) sensu stricto, B. garinii, and B. afzelii were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and compared to a commercial C6 peptide ELISA. Seropositivity rate in the IR(6) or C6 peptide ELISAs ranged from 32% to 58% at presentation, 30-52% after 2-3 months, and 20-36% after 6 months. At presentation, positive antibodies in any of the 4 ELISAs were found in 66%. In 7/52 (13%), C6-negative EM cases, serological reaction was found to the B. burgdorferi sensu stricto-derived IR(6) peptide. In patients reporting previous LB compared to those without previous LB, significantly higher seropositivity rates were noted for all IR(6) peptides, but not for the C6 peptide. In the serology of EM in Europe, C6 ELISA does not seem to cover all cases. An ELISA using a mixture of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto IR(6) peptide and the C6 peptide could be of value in the serodiagnosis of LB in Europe. Further studies on combinations of variant IR(6) peptides and the C6 peptide in other manifestations of LB are needed to address this issue.
Two hundred and fifty-three farmers and forest workers and 249 clerks from south-west Sweden were recruited to a cross-sectional seroprevalence study to find out if individuals working outdoors are more prone to acquire Borrelia burgdorferi infection than indoor workers and to find undiagnosed cases of Lyme borreliosis. The participants answered a questionnaire and blood specimens were collected to estimate the prevalence of antibodies to B. burgdorferi in each group. Sera were analysed with an enzyme-linked immunoassay technique to determine IgG antibodies to B. burgdorferi flagellum. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi antibodies was 7.6% in the farmers and forest workers vs. 5.3% in the clerks (adjusted odds ratio [age, sex] = 1.2 [95% confidence interval = 0.5-2.8]). One case of Lyme borreliosis was diagnosed. The positive predictive value of the antibody test was estimated to be 3% in the studied populations. B. burgdorferi infection is of low endemicity in south-west Sweden and is probably not an occupational risk among outdoor workers. Undiagnosed cases of Lyme borreliosis are uncommon. The test used is not acceptable for screening purposes.
This prospective study reports the clinical and epidemiological features of 187 consecutive patients with neuroborreliosis recognized in Denmark over the 6-yr period, 1985-1990. Only patients with intrathecal Borrelia burgdorferi specific antibody synthesis were included. In 1990 regional incidences varied between 5.7 and 24.1 per million. Ninety-four percent of the patients had early (second stage) neuroborreliosis. The most common manifestation was a painful lymphocytic meningoradiculitis (Bannwarth's syndrome) either with paresis (61%) or as a radicular pain syndrome only (25%). Central nervous system (CNS) involvement in early neuroborreliosis was rare; 4% had signs of myelitis and only one patient had acute encephalitis. Children showed a different course of the disease. Six percent of the patients suffered a chronic course with a disease duration between 6 mths and 6 yrs either as chronic lymphocytic meningitis (1.6%) or as third stage chronic encephalomyelitis (4.3%). Meningeal signs were rare despite pronounced inflammatory cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) changes (median cell count 160/microliters; median protein concentration 1.13 g/l). High dose i.v. penicillin G was administered to 91% of the patients. Based on the clinical outcome and normalization of CSF no treatment failures were recognized. The final morbidity after a median follow-up of 33 mths was low; disabling sequelae were reported in nine patients, mainly those with previous CNS involvement. We conclude that neuroborreliosis is a common and characteristic neurological disorder. The diagnosis should be based on the demonstration of inflammatory CSF changes and B. burgdorferi specific intrathecal antibody production.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the clinical spectrum and incidence of neuroborreliosis in the Netherlands. DESIGN: Retrospective. METHOD: All neurological practices in 106 hospital locations in the Netherlands were asked to look for patients with the codes 'other neurological infections' or 'Borrelia burgdorferi' in their Diagnosis & Treatment Combinations registration or the Neurological Coding System, respectively, concerning the year 2001, then to identify the patients with neuroborreliosis and to send a copy of the correspondence with the family doctor and the laboratory data on these patients, after making them anonymous, for data extraction. Pleocytosis in the cerebrospinal fluid combined with a positive test for IgM or IgG antibodies of B. burgdorferi in the serum or cerebrospinal fluid was used as the criterion for the diagnosis neuroborreliosis. RESULTS: Forty-seven (44%) neurological practices did not respond and twenty-two (21%) either did not use any kind of diagnosis registration system or linkage between the registration and the patient file was impossible. Of the 37 (35%) neurological practices that provided information, 17 had diagnosed neuroborreliosis in 30 patients, 20 of whom met the specified criteria. Fifteen (75%) patients had a radiculopathy, 8 (40%) a peripheral facial palsy and 3 (15%) a myelopathy. CONCLUSION: The clinical spectrum of patients with neuroborreliosis was consistent with that described in Denmark. The incidence of neuroborreliosis found was 3.6 per million inhabitants. The real incidence was probably higher because the registration systems used allowed patients with neuroborreliosis to be booked under other (symptomatic) diagnostic codes, paediatricians were not involved in the study, and relatively few participating neurologists practiced in high-risk areas for tick bites and erythema migrans. The low incidence of neuroborreliosis in combination with a high background level of seropositivity in the population implies a low predictive value of positive Borrelia serology. It is therefore essential that when neuroborreliosis is suspected, the cerebrospinal fluid should always be investigated.
Comment In: Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2004 Apr 3;148(14):655-815106315
Lyme disease is a multisystem infection affecting all age groups. In this study an attempt was made to determine whether the patient's age influences the course of the disease. One hundred and fifty patients with diagnosed Lyme disease were included in the study. Two serological methods were used to detect antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi and to confirm the diagnosis: an indirect immunofluorescence assay (the Russian strain Ip-21) and Western blot. The course of Lyme disease did not differ from that seen in Europe and North America. However, a few clinical differences between groups were observed. In the first age group (0-15 years) the most common manifestation was flu-like symptoms with fever. Neither radiculoneuritis nor polyneuropathy was observed in this age group. Late manifestations were rare and the outcome of the disease was benign. The course of the disease in the second group (16-40 years) was most similar to that in childhood and the also outcome was similar. Carditis and erythema multiple were significantly more common in the second group (16-40 years) than in the other age groups. No differences were found between the third (41-60 years) and fourth (> than 60 years) group in the frequency of flu-like symptoms, erythema multiple and aseptic meningitis. However, the most important clinical sign in this group was involvement of the nervous system whereas in the third group this was joint damage. This feature deserves attention because, as a rule, the presence of an articular syndrome determines the prognosis of LD.
Department of Ruminant Medicine and Veterinary Epidemiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7019, SE-75007 Uppsala, Sweden. firstname.lastname@example.org
A cross-sectional study of the seroprevalence to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and granulocytic Ehrlichia spp. in Swedish horses was conducted to evaluate associations with demographic, clinical and tick-exposure factors. From September 1997-1998, blood samples from 2018 horses were collected from the animals presented to veterinary clinics affiliated with the Swedish Horserace Totalizator Board (regardless of the primary cause for consultation). Standardized questionnaires with information both from owners and attending veterinarians accompanied each blood sample. The apparent seroprevalences to B. burgdorferi s. l. and granulocytic Ehrlichia spp. were 16.8 and 16.7%, respectively. The northern region had the lowest seroprevalences. Four logistic models were developed (controlling for demographic variables). In the disease model of seropositivity to B. burgdorferi s. l., age, breed, geographic region, the serologic titer to granulocytic Ehrlichia spp., season and the diagnosis coffin-joint arthritis were significant. In the tick-exposure model of B. burgdorferi s. l., pasture access the previous year and gender were significant. Age, racing activity, geographic region, season and the serologic titer to B. burgdorferi s. l. were associated with positivity to granulocytic Ehrlichia spp. In the tick-exposure model of granulocytic Ehrlichia spp., pasture access was a risk factor. An interaction between racing activity and geographic region showed that the risk of positive serologic reactions to Ehrlichia spp. was increased in the horse population in the south and middle of Sweden, but only among horses not used for racing. Except for the positive association between coffin-joint arthritis and serologic reactions to B. burgdorferi s. l., there were no significant associations in the multivariable models between non-specific or specific clinical sign or disease with seropositivity to either of these agents.
ELISA methods that measure IgG class antibodies to sonicated Borrelia burgdorferi may give false positive results. These errors could be traced to non-specific reactivity in subclass IgG2 in several instances. Sera were sampled randomly from two adult populations, which differed in having a high and low incidence of Lyme disease. If the binding of IgG2 subclass antibodies was left unrecorded in the test by the use of monoclonal reagent antibodies selective for IgG1 and IgG3, the frequency of positivity in the ELISA test decreased in samples from the low risk group. Twenty-one samples were found to be positive in an immunoblot confirmatory test. Correct prediction of positivity was obtained for 15 sera by ELISA restricted to IgG1 plus IgG3, for only four sera by ELISA restricted to IgG2 and for only six sera by IgG subclass non-restricted ELISA. A non-restricted ELISA with purified flagella of B. burgdorferi as the antigen predicted correctly 14 of the immunoblot-positive sera. The results of this ELISA correlated well with those of the IgG1 plus IgG3 subclass restricted ELISA in the high risk population (r = 0.95, prevalence of seropositivity 12%), but was significantly worse for the low risk group (r = 0.47, prevalence 2.9%). IgG subclass restriction also decreased cross-reactions of syphilitic sera in the ELISA with sonicated antigen.