Risk of acquiring tick-borne infections in forestry workers from Lazio, Italy

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2010 Dec;29(12):1579-81. doi: 10.1007/s10096-010-1028-6. Epub 2010 Aug 18.


The seroprevalence of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus was evaluated in a group of forestry rangers in the Lazio region of Italy. One hundred and forty-five forestry rangers and 282 blood donors were examined by two-tiered serological tests for B. burgdorferi and TBE virus. Information on occupation, residence, tick bites, outdoor leisure activities and other risk factors was obtained. The prevalence of IgG/IgM antibodies to B. burgdorferi showed no statistical difference between the two groups, but there was a higher occurrence of IgM antibodies. There were significant differences between indoor and outdoor, urban and rural workplaces among the 145 exposed workers (χ² test: p < 0.001), and a higher risk for outdoor rural than urban tasks was detected among the ten Western blot-tested forestry rangers positive to B. burgdorferi (χ² test: p < 0.1). No seropositivity was observed for the TBE virus. Forestry rangers from the Lazio region did not have a higher risk of Borrelia infection than the blood donors, though an increase in the risk for outdoor tasks in a rural environment was observed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Borrelia burgdorferi / immunology*
  • Encephalitis Viruses, Tick-Borne / immunology*
  • Encephalitis, Tick-Borne / epidemiology
  • Encephalitis, Tick-Borne / immunology
  • Encephalitis, Tick-Borne / virology
  • Forestry*
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Lyme Disease / epidemiology
  • Lyme Disease / immunology
  • Lyme Disease / microbiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / microbiology
  • Occupational Diseases / virology
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Risk Factors
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / microbiology
  • Tick-Borne Diseases / virology


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antibodies, Viral