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Orienteers from all parts of Switzerland (n = 416) were included in a longitudinal study for Lyme borreliosis. In spring 1986, the seroprevalence was 28.1 %. At the beginning of the study, 84.3 % of orienteers reported a history of tick bite, and 3.8 % reported a past history of Lyme borreliosis. During the first (spring 1986-autumn 1986), second (autumn 1986-spring 1987) and third (spring 1987-autumn 1987) period, rates of seroconversion were 0.6 %, 2.7 % and 2.1 % respectively. During the first and second period, clinical incidence were 1.0 % and 0.25 % respectively. No active Lyme borreliosis was detected during the third period. Among orienteers who seroconverted during the study (n = 16), only two developed clinical symptoms. Hence, Borrelia burgdorferi infection is often asymptomatic.

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