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Prevalence of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi in horses of East Slovakia

STEFANCIKOVA A, STEPANOVA G, PET'KO B, NADZAMOVA D, SZESTAKOVA E, SKARDOVA I, LEINSTEIN R
Veterinarni Medicina 45, 2000, 227-231

In studying the circulation of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi in animal population, sera of 207 clinically healthy horses from 11 districts of East Slovakia were examined by ELISA. Of all the sera examined anti-Borrelia IgG antibodies were detected in 99 horses, i.e. in 47.8%. The highest seroprevalence was observed in the districts Presov (59.1%) and Kosice (55.2%). A slightly lower seroprevalence was recorded in the districts Stropkov (43.7%) and Poprad (33.3%). A significantly lower seroprevalence relative to the districts Presov and Kosice was recorded from Michalovce district (23.8%) (X-2-test, P < 0.05). In the remaining districts (Bardejov, Kezmarok, Levoca, Stara L'ubovna, Roznava and Spisska Nova Ves) the seroprevalence was 25-100%, but the number of animals examined was low (2-5 horses). An analysis of seroprevalence made with respect to the age showed that there was no significant difference between 1-3-year-old horses (40.9%) and older horses (48.5, or 48.7%). Seroprevalence showed the same pattern of its occurrence as regards the exploitation of horses. Considering the months of taking blood samples, a significantly lower seroprevalence was identified in spring season (40.0%) than in summer (62.0 %) (X-2-test, P < 0.05). The occurrence of Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies in horses in East Slovakia alerts veterinarians to consider this disease in their clinical practice and not to disregard it in differential diagnosis


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