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Original Article
Serological Detection of Lyme Borreliosis Agents in Patients From Korea, 2005–2009
Sang-Hee Park, Kyu-Jam Hwang, Hyuk Chu, Mi-Yeoun Park
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2011;2(1):29-33.   Published online June 30, 2011
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2011.04.004
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Laboratory tests are now being used to identify seropositive cases in patients suspected of having a Lyme borreliosis (LB) infection. From 2005 to 2009, we analyzed the serological and epidemiological characteristics of 53 LB positive cases in Korea using immunoblot assay.
Methods
During the five-year study period, a total of 1897 serum samples from suspected LB cases were referred to us for further laboratory diagnosis. The bacterial strains Borrelia afzeli pKo, Borrelia garinii 935T and Borrelia burgdorferi B31 were used for indirect immunofluorescent antibody assay. Immunoblot assay was performed using the recomBlot Borrelia.
Results
Based on the information from the clinicians, the main symptoms of LB infection were rash and fever (66.0%), neurological symptoms (30.2%), and arthritis (5.7%). Of the 53 cases, 16 (30.2%) were infected abroad and the remaining 37 cases (69.8%) were suspected to have been infected in Korea. Immunoblot assays detected high levels of the antigens p41 (FlaB) of B. burgdorferi and OspC of B. garinii in infected samples.
Conclusions
The causative bacteria of LB were not isolated from humans yet but from vector ticks and rodents in Korea, and a few cases were reported with serological diagnosis. Our results suggest that LB is present in all areas of Korea and indicate that B. garinii and B. burgdorferi may be the predominant bacteria in patients with LB. However, further studies are needed to isolate and identify the causative bacteria for LB in patients.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives