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Henningsson A.J.,Ryhov County Hospital | Wilhelmsson P.,Linkoping University | Gyllemark P.,Ryhov County Hospital | Kozak M.,Linkoping University | And 6 more authors.
Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases | Year: 2015

The risk of contracting human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA) after a tick bite is mainly unknown. In this study we investigated the clinical and serological response in 30 humans bitten by ticks positive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Group A), 30 humans bitten by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l)-positive ticks (Group B), and 30 humans bitten by ticks negative for both A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi s.l. (Group C). Ticks, blood samples and questionnaires were collected from tick-bitten humans at 34 primary healthcare centres in Sweden and in the Åland Islands, Finland, at the time of the tick bite and after three months. A total of 2553 ticks detached from humans in 2007-2009 were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction, and 31 (1.2%) were positive for A. phagocytophilum, 556 (21.8%) were positive for B. burgdorferi s.l., and eight (0.3%) were co-infected by A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi s.l. The overall prevalence of Anaplasma IgG antibodies in the included participants (n=90) was 17%, and there was no significant difference between the groups A-C. Only one of the participants (in Group C) showed a four-fold increase of IgG antibodies against A. phagocytophilum at the three-month follow-up, but reported no symptoms. The frequency of reported symptoms did not differ between groups A-C, and was unrelated to the findings of A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi s.l. in the detached ticks. We conclude that the risk for HGA or asymptomatic seroconversion after a tick bite in Sweden or in the Åland Islands is low, even if the tick is infected by A. phagocytophilum. © 2015 The Authors.


Wilhelmsson P.,Linkoping University | Fryland L.,Linkoping University | Lindblom P.,Linkoping University | Sjowall J.,Linkoping University | And 13 more authors.
Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases | Year: 2015

Lyme borreliosis (LB) is a common and increasing tick-borne disease in Europe. The risk of acquiring a Borrelia infection after a tick bite is not fully known. Therefore, we investigated the incidence of Borrelia infection after a bite by a Borrelia-infected tick and if the Borrelia load and/or the duration of tick-feeding influenced the risk of infection. During 2008-2009, ticks and blood samples were collected from 1546 tick-bitten persons from Sweden and the Åland Islands, Finland. Follow-up blood samples were taken 3 months after the tick bite. The duration of tick feeding was microscopically estimated and Borrelia was detected and quantified in ticks by real-time PCR. Anti-Borrelia antibodies were detected in sera using ELISA tests and immunoblot.Five percent (78/1546) of the study participants developed Borrelia infection (LB diagnosis and/or seroconversion) after a tick bite (45% bitten by Borrelia-infected ticks and 55% bitten by uninfected ticks). Of these, 33 developed LB (whereof 9 also seroconverted) while 45 participants seroconverted only. Experience of non-specific symptoms was more frequently reported by Borrelia-infected participants compared to uninfected participants. All who seroconverted removed "their" ticks significantly later than those who did not. The Borrelia load in the ticks did not explain the risk of seroconversion. Regional and sex differences in the Borrelia seroprevalence were found. The risk of developing a Borrelia infection after a bite by a Borrelia-infected tick is small but increases with the duration of tick feeding. © 2015 Elsevier GmbH.


Wilhelmsson P.,Linkoping University | Fryland L.,Linkoping University | Lindblom P.,Linkoping University | Sjowall J.,Linkoping University | And 13 more authors.
Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases | Year: 2016

Lyme borreliosis (LB) is a common and increasing tick-borne disease in Europe. The risk of acquiring a Borrelia infection after a tick bite is not fully known. Therefore, we investigated the incidence of Borrelia infection after a bite by a Borrelia-infected tick and if the Borrelia load and/or the duration of tick-feeding influenced the risk of infection. During 2008-2009, ticks and blood samples were collected from 1546 tick-bitten persons from Sweden and the Åland Islands, Finland. Follow-up blood samples were taken 3 months after the tick bite. The duration of tick feeding was microscopically estimated and Borrelia was detected and quantified in ticks by real-time PCR. Anti-. Borrelia antibodies were detected in sera using ELISA tests and immunoblot.Five percent (78/1546) of the study participants developed Borrelia infection (LB diagnosis and/or seroconversion) after a tick bite (45% bitten by Borrelia-infected ticks and 55% bitten by uninfected ticks). Of these, 33 developed LB (whereof 9 also seroconverted) while 45 participants seroconverted only. Experience of non-specific symptoms was more frequently reported by Borrelia-infected participants compared to uninfected participants. All who seroconverted removed "their" ticks significantly later than those who did not. The Borrelia load in the ticks did not explain the risk of seroconversion. Regional and sex differences in the Borrelia seroprevalence were found. The risk of developing a Borrelia infection after a bite by a Borrelia-infected tick is small but increases with the duration of tick feeding. © 2015 Elsevier GmbH.

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