Seroepidemiology of emerging tickborne infectious diseases in a northern California community

Curtis L. Fritz, Anne M. Kjemtrup, Patricia A. Conrad, George R. Flores, Grant L. Campbell, Martin E. Schriefer, Dana Gallo, Duc J. Vugia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


A seroprevalence and risk factor study of emerging tickborne infectious diseases (Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and babesiosis) was conducted among 230 residents of a semirural community in Sonoma County, California. Over 50% of residents reported finding a tick on themselves in the preceding 12 months. Samples from 51 (23%) residents were seroreactive to antigens from one or more tickborne disease agents: 1.4% to Borrelia burgdorferi, 0.4% to Ehrlichia equi, 4.6% to Ehrlichia chaffeensis, and 1.7.8% to the Babesin- like piroplasm WA1. Only 14 (27%) of these seroreactive residents reported one or more symptoms compatible with these diseases. Seroreactivity was significantly associated with younger age (<16 years), longer residence in the community (11-20 years), and having had a physician's diagnosis of Lyme disease. In northern California, the risk of infection with these emerging tickborne diseases, particularly in children, may be greater than previously recognized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1432-1439
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Immunology


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