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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2001

Cross-sectional study of the seroprevalence to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and granulocytic Ehrlichia spp. and demographic, clinical and tick-exposure factors in Swedish horses

Egenvall A, Franzen P, Gunnarsson A, Engvall EO, Vagsholm I, Wikstrom UB, Artursson K


A cross-sectional study of the seroprevalence to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu tate and granulocytic Ehrlichia spp. in Swedish horses was conducted to evaluate associations with demographic, clinical and tick-exposure factors. From September 1997-1998, blood samples from 2018 horses were collected from the animals presented to veterinary clinics affiliated with the Swedish Horserace Totalizator Board (regardless of the primary cause for consultation). Standardized questionnaires with information both from owners and attending veterinarians accompanied each blood sample. The apparent seroprevalences to B. burgdorferi s, l. and granulocytic Ehrlichia spp, were 16.8 and 16.7%, respectively. The northern region had the lowest seroprevalences. Four logistic models were developed (controlling for demographic variables). In the disease model of seropositivity to B. burgdorferi s. l,, age, breed, geographic region, the serologic titer to granulocytic Ehrlichia spp., season and the diagnosis coffin-joint arthritis were significant. In the tick-exposure model of B. burgdorferi S. l,, pasture access the previous year and gender were significant. Age, racing activity, geographic region, season and the serologic titer to B. burgdorferi s. l, were associated with positivity to granulocytic Ehrlichia spp. In the tick-exposure model of granulocytic Ehrlichia spp., pasture access was a risk factor, An interaction between racing activity and geographic region showed that the risk of positive serologic reactions to Ehrlichia spp, was increased in the horse population in the south and middle of Sweden, but only among horses not used for racing. Except for the positive association between coffin-joint arthritis and serologic reactions to B. burgdorferi s. l., there were no significant associations in the multivariable models between non-specific or specific clinical sign or disease with seropositivity to either of these agents. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Published in

Preventive Veterinary Medicine
2001, volume: 49, number: 3-4, pages: 191-208

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Wikström, U-B
Gunnarsson, A
Olsson Engvall, E
Artursson, K
Franzén, P

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