Seroprevalence of tick-borne infections in forestry rangers from northeastern Italy

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2004 Dec;10(12):1056-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2004.01026.x.


The aim of this study was to estimate the seroprevalence of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocitophilum and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus, and risk factors, in forestry rangers from the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region in northeastern Italy. Sera from 181 forestry rangers were examined with two-tiered serological tests for TBE, Lyme borreliosis and ehrlichiosis. Information about risk factors such as job location, residence, number of tick bites and outdoor leisure activities was collected with a questionnaire. Seropositivity was 0.6% for TBE virus, 23.2% for Lyme borreliosis and 0.6% for ehrlichiosis. Lyme borreliosis positivity, as determined by Western blot, was associated with working in the foothills, with gardening in the northeastern part of the region, and with a history of yearly tick bites. Risk factors were similar when a case of Lyme borreliosis was defined either by Western blot positivity or by clinical history.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum / immunology
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Borrelia burgdorferi / immunology
  • Ehrlichiosis / epidemiology
  • Encephalitis Viruses, Tick-Borne / immunology
  • Encephalitis, Tick-Borne / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Forestry*
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Lyme Disease / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / epidemiology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antibodies, Viral