Seroepidemiological study of Lyme borreliosis among forestry workers in southern Poland.
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Chair and Department of Biology and Parasitology, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
Medical University of Lublin, Poland
Department of Occupational Biohazards, Institute of Agricultural Medicine, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2009;16(2):257–261
Forestry workers are a professional group particularly exposed to tick-borne infections; however, continuous monitoring of anti-Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies in this group enables faster diagnosis and more effective treatment for borreliosis. A group of 1,155 forestry workers from six forest inspectorates in southern Poland were examined with the immunoenzymatic method (ELISA test). The general level of anti-Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies was 12.8 % in IgM class, and 25 % in IgG class. Markedly more seropositive results were found in the group of fieldworkers (13.8 % - IgM and 25.0 % - IgG) than in office workers (10.0 % - IgM and 13.7 % - IgG). The highest proportions of infections both in IgM and IgG class (17.4 % and 34.8 %, respectively) were recorded in the group of persons over 50 years of age, the lowest - in the group of workers younger than 30 (IgM - 13.0 %, IgG - 14.1%). Significant differences in the level of seropositive results in IgG class were related to the workers' gender - in women the percentage was 9.8 %, in men - 28.1 %. It was found that in the studied region of southern Poland, considered to be non-endemic, borreliosis occurs as a health risk to forestry workers.