Abstract
LYME DISEASE IN TURKEY

Barbaros ÇET?N*

ABSTRACT

Although Lyme Disease is proposed to be endemic by World Health Organisation (WHO), health professionals from Turkey still ignored this situation. Neither Ministry of Health of Republic of Turkey nor medical doctors know anything about Lyme Disease, so Lyme patients are almost always misdiagnosed and they can‘t get the appropriate treatment. On the other hand some seropositivity studies made by researchers are worrisome. According these studies, seropositivity in random blood samples found 75% positive in Hatay, 22.1 – 35.9% positive in Antalya , 35.8% positive in Bilecik, 18.75% positive in Van, 18.8% positive in Denizli, 13.7-14.8% positive in Bolu, 3.28 – 17% positive in Isparta, 10.9% positive in Duzce, 7.8% positive in Izmir, 6.6% positive in Trabzon, 6% positive in Ankara, 4% positive in Samsun, 3.3% positive in Sinop and 2.5% positive in Erzurum. Additionally seropositivity in animal samples from Turkey found 23-78% positive in dogs, 6 % positive in horses and 13,5 % positive in cattle. Finally according to studies on ticks, 15,9 % of ticks in Sinop were found to be carrying the Borrelia, while 15,58-35,8 % in Thrace and 3-55 % in Istanbul. According to genomic studies Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. garinii, B. afzelii, B. valaisiana and B. lusitaniae strains from Turkey are very similar (97-100%) to European strains. As a result it can be clearly said that Lyme Disease is extremely overlooked and too many people are misdiagnosed in Turkey.

Keywords: Lyme disease, Turkey, Endemic, Seropositivity.


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