Background/aim: Lyme disease (LD) is a cosmopolitan disease from the group of zoonoses that in humans can affect skins, joints, heart and/or nervous system. Research conducted in endemic areas, shows not only that the population, which lives or works in tick habitats, is in a high risk for getting infected by LD cause, but also that every enviroment itself is specific in regard to both vectors and B. burgdoferi species. In our enviroment, research of seropositivity to B. bugdorferi in persons exposed to vectors of LD have not been conducted. The aim of this study was to determine whether there was a higher risk for getting B. burgdofei infection in the fieldworks of JKP "Zelenilo Beograd" than in other persons.
Methods: Risk for getting LD in the fieldworkers of JKP "Zelenilo Beograd" (park-maintanance company) was determined according to seropositivity, the number and infection rate of LD vectors, and entomological risk index (ERI) value. Serum samples of 34 fieldworkers ofJKP "Zelenilo Beograd", and 35 persons of the control group, were tested for the presence of specific IgM and IgG anti-B. burgdofedi antibodies by using ELISA test In the research localities, the number of ticks was estimated by using the flag hours method, and tick infection rate was determined by dark field microscopy, with magnification rate of 400x. The data were analyzed statistically using chi(2) test, and Pearson's correlation analysis.
Results: Out of 34 fieldworkes serum samples, 8 (23.5%) were positive on anti-B. buagdorfei antibody presence, while in the control group only one (2.9%/0) sample was positive (p < 0,05). Seropositivity rate varied from 0-66.6% among localities. Flag hours value among the localities ranged from 8.2-29.9, and tick infection rate ranged from 10.8-22.3%. ERI value was 0.03-0.15. Correlation between flag hour rate and seropositivity, tick infection rate and seropositivity, and also ERI and seropositivity was established.
Conclusion: Frequency of B. burgdorferi seropositivity was significantly higher in green-surface maintenance workers, than in the control group not exposed to these habitats. A significant correlation was found between anti-B. burgdofedi antibodies findings and the number of ticks, tick infection rate, and ERI. The results obtained in our study indicate that there was a significantly higher risk for getting LD cause in the fieldworkers than in the control group.