Global Seroprevalence of Tickborne Lyme Disease About 14.5 Percent


TUESDAY, June 14, 2022 — The reported estimated global seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bb) is 14.5 percent, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online June 13 in BMJ Global Health.

Yan Dong, from the Institute for Tropical Medicine at Kunming Medical University in China, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to describe the global seroprevalence and sociodemographic characteristics of Bb in human populations. Data were synthesized narratively, stratified by outcome types. A total of 137 studies were eligible for full-text screening and meta-analyses included 89 studies, with 158,287 participants.

The researchers found that the reported estimated global seroprevalence of Bb was 14.5 percent, and Central Europe, Eastern Asia, and Western Europe were the top three regions of Bb seroprevalence (20.7, 15.9, and 13.5 percent, respectively). After eliminating confounding risk factors, the risk of false-positive Bb antibody detection was increased with methods lacking western blotting (WB) confirmation compared to methods using WB confirmation (odds ratio, 1.9). Other factors associated with Bb seropositivity were age ≥50 years, male sex, residence in rural area, and suffering tick bites.

“A more accurate characterization of the global distribution of Bb infection would guide the circulating epidemiology of Lyme borreliosis and identify risk factors for the disease, which could inform the development of public health response policies and Lyme borreliosis control programs,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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