What is the global prevalence of Lyme disease?

Updated: Apr 05, 2021
  • Author: John O Meyerhoff, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Lyme disease exists throughout much of the world, including Canada, Europe, and Asia. Occasionally, cases are reported in more tropical locales, and Lyme disease may exist in Australia.

In Asia, Borrelia burgdorferi infection has been reported in countries including China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Nepal, and eastern Turkey. In Europe, most Lyme disease is reported by Scandinavian countries, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia. Lyme disease in Europe is primarily caused by B afzelii and B garinii.

A rate of 69 cases of Lyme disease per 100,000 persons was reported in southern Sweden, with peaks at ages 5-9 years and 60-69 years. In one publication, the estimated incidence of Lyme disease was as high as 206 cases per 100,000 population in Slovenia and 135 cases per 100,000 population in Austria, which are among the highest reported rates in Europe. [18] Increases in prevalence have been also observed in Poland, Germany, Bulgaria, Norway, and Finland.


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