Geographical Features and Seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in Erzincan, Turkey

  • Aytekin Cikman
  • Merve Aydin
  • Baris Gulhan
  • Faruk Karakecili
  • Levent Demirtas
  • Ozan Arif Kesik
Keywords: Borrelia burgdorferi, Seroprevalence, Geographical features, Altitude, Slope degree, Turkey


Background: We aimed to determine the geographical features and seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in Erzincan, Turkey, which has a high tick population due to its geographical position and climatic conditions.

Methods: From January to December 2014, 368 people living in Erzincan, northeastern Turkey were enrolled. B. burgdorferi IgG antibodies were investigated in the collected serum samples using the ELISA method in 2015. Positive and borderline results were confirmed using the Western Blot (WB) method. 

Results: Borrelia burgdorferi IgG positivity was found to be 4.1% by ELISA and 2.17% by WB. Of the seropositive people according to WB, 25% resided in areas within 2000m of rivers, 50% in areas with a slope of 0–5°, and 62.5% in areas with an altitude of lower than 1500 meters.

Conclusion: The seroprevalence of Lyme borreliosis was high in Erzincan, particularly among people engaged in animal husbandry in rural areas. In addition, the seroprevalence of Borrelia varied according to geographical features, increasing in areas with a lower slope and altitude.