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ORIGINAL PAPER
 
CC BY-NC 3.0 Polska
 
 

Risk of occupational infections caused by Borrelia burgdorferi among forestry workers and farmers

Dorota Plewik 3,  
Adam Szepeluk 3,  
 
1
Państwowa Szkoła Wyższa im. Papieża Jana Pawła II / Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education, Biała Podlaska, Poland (Katedra Zdrowia / Departament of Health)
2
Uniwersytet Medyczny / Medical University, Lublin, Poland (Katedra i Zakład Mikrobiologii Lekarskiej / Department of Medical Microbiology)
3
Państwowa Szkoła Wyższa im. Papieża Jana Pawła II / Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education, Biała Podlaska, Poland (Centrum Badań nad Innowacjami / Innovation Research Centre)
Med Pr 2014;65(1):109–117
KEYWORDS:
ABSTRACT:
Background: The aim of the work was to analyze the incidence of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi in forestry workers and farmers, major groups occupationally exposed to tick bites. Material and Methods: The study group included 275 workers (171 foresters and 104 farmers). The control group consisted of 45 people, who have not been occupationally exposed to tick bites. The screening Elisa and Wb tests for the presence of anti-Borrelia IgM/IgG antibodies were performed in all subjects of the study and control groups. Statistical analysis was performed using the Chi2 test. Results: The positive results denoting the presence of anti-Borrelia IgM/IgG antibodies were found in 55% of farmers and 28% of foresters occupationally exposed to Lyme borreliosis and coming from the area of South Podlasie Lowland and Lublin Polesie. The differences between the forestry workers and the control group (p ≤ 0.00001) and between farmers and the control group (p ≤ 0.001) were statistically significant. The species, such as B. spielmanii and B. bavariensis, which have not yet been reported in Poland, are significant etiologic agents of Lyme disease. Conclusion: The risk of occupational exposure to the B. burgdorferi infection is high for foresters and farmers, and the infection with spirochetes is frequently confirmed on the basis of positive results of the Wb test. The presence of specific antibodies against protein antigens of B. spielmanii and B. bavariensis suggest that these bacteria can cause Lyme disease both independently and in participation with other Borrelia species, which influences the development of the clinical manifestations of infection. Med Pr 2014;65(1):109–117
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Małgorzata Tokarska-Rodak   
Katedra i Zakład Mikrobiologii Lekarskiej, Uniwersytet Medyczny, ul. Chodźki 1, 20-093 Lublin
eISSN:2353-1339
ISSN:0465-5893