Objectives: Currently louse-borne relapsing fever (LBRF) is primarily found in limited endemic foci in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan; no case of imported LBRF has been reported in Europe in the 9 years prior to 2015. The aim of our paper is to describe a new case of imported LBRF detected in Sicily, Italy, and to review all cases reported in migrants arrived in Europe in the last 10 years.
Study design: Mini review of all published cases of louse-borne relapsing fever in Europe in the last 10 years.
Methods: A computerized search without language restriction was conducted using PubMed combining the terms '(louse-borne relapsing fever or LBRF or recurrentis) and (refugee or Europe or migrant)' without limits. Furthermore, the 'Ahead-of-Print Articles' of the top 10 journals (ranked by Impact factor - Web of Science) of Infectious diseases and of Epidemiology were checked.
Results: Our search identified 26 cases of LBRF between July and October 2015 in migrants recently arrived in Europe: 8 had been described in Italy; 1 in Switzerland; 2 in the Netherlands; 15 in Germany. We describe data regarding the clinical characteristics, diagnostic methods, therapy and outcome of these patients and of the new case.
Conclusions: LBRF by Borrelia recurrentis should be considered among the clinical hypotheses in migrants presenting with fever, headache, chills, sweating, arthralgia, myalgia, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
Keywords: Borrelia recurrentis; Europe; Louse-borne relapsing fever; Refugees.
Copyright © 2016 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.