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Jpn J Infect Dis. 2015;68(1):1-4. doi: 10.7883/yoken.JJID.2013.462. Epub 2014 Nov 25.

Epidemiological features and clinical manifestations of Lyme borreliosis in Korea during the period 2005-2012.

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Division of Epidemic Intelligence Service, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Lyme borreliosis is one of the most common tick-borne infections in the northern hemisphere. However, the epidemiological features and clinical manifestations of this disease in Korea are unknown. The present study is the first to investigate the characteristics of Lyme borreliosis in Korea. We traced suspected cases of Lyme borreliosis during the period 2005-2012. Of the 16 identified patients with the disease, 11 had acquired autochthonous infection within Korea, while 5 patients were infected outside Korea. The history of past exposure was investigated in 8 of the 11 patients with autochthonous infection; 5 of these 8 patients (62.5%) were suspected to have acquired the infection in the northeastern alpine region. Clinically, of 11 patients with autochthonous infection, 6 (54.5%) showed early skin manifestations, 4 (36.4%) showed neurological manifestations, and 1 (9.1%) showed acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans. In conclusion, Lyme borreliosis could be endemic in the northeastern alpine region of Korea, and neurological and early skin manifestations are likely to be the major clinical characteristics of autochthonous Lyme borreliosis in Korea.

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