Spatial and temporal patterns of Lyme Neuroborreliosis on Funen, Denmark from 1995–2014

Amalie Muus Andreasen*, Petter Bart Dehlendorff, Fredrikke Christie Knudtzen, Rene Bødker, Lene Jung Kjær, Sigurdur Skarphedinsson

*Corresponding author for this work

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In Europe, Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB) is the most severe manifestation of Lyme borreliosis and has recently been added to the communicable disease surveillance list for EU/EEA by the European Commission. In Northern Europe, LNB is primarily caused by the spirochete Borrelia garinii and transmitted by the tick Ixodes ricinus. This Danish observational epidemiologic case-control study includes every identified LNB patient (n = 401) on Funen, Denmark, from 1995-2014. We display spatial and temporal LNB incidence variation, seasonal distribution of cases and local spatial case clustering. Seasonal patterns show LNB symptom-onset peaking in July and a significant seasonal difference in number of cases (p < 0.01). We found no significant change in seasonality patterns over time when dividing the study period into 5-year intervals. We identified a significant local geographical hot-spot of cases with a relative risk of 2.44 (p = 0.013). Analysis revealed a significantly shorter distance to nearest forest for cases compared with controls (p < 0.001). We present a novel map of the focal geographical distribution of LNB cases in a high endemic borreliosis area. Continued studies of case clustering in the epidemiology of LNB are of key importance in guiding intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7796
JournalScientific Reports
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 8. May 2020


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