Seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi among the indigenous people (Orang Asli) of Peninsular Malaysia

  • Chee-Sieng Khor Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Habibi Hassan Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Nurul-Farhana Mohd-Rahim Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Josephine Rebecca Chandren Department of Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Siti-Sarah Nore Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Jefree Johari Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Shih-Keng Loong Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Juraina Abd-Jamil Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Jing-Jing Khoo Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Hai-Yen Lee Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Brian L Pike U.S. Naval Medical Research Center - Asia, Singapore
  • Wong Li-Ping Department of Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Yvonne Ai-Lian Lim Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Sazaly AbuBakar Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Keywords: Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, Malaysia, Orang Asli, ticks, infectious diseases

Abstract

Introduction: Lyme disease has been well-described in the North America and European countries. However, information is still very limited in the developing countries including Malaysia. The Orang Asli (OA), the indigenous people of Peninsular Malaysia reside mostly in the forest and forest fringe areas abundant with the vector for Lyme disease. Here, we described the seroprevalence of Borellia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi) among the OA and demographic variables that could be associated with seroprevalence.

Methodology: A total of 16 OA villages distributed across 8 states in Peninsular Malaysia participated in this study. Sera obtained from 904 OA volunteers were screened for anti-B. burgdorferi IgG antibodies. ELISA results obtained and demographic information collected were analysed to identify possible variables associated with seroprevalence.

Results: A total of 73 (8.1%) OA tested positive for anti-B. burgdorferi IgG antibodies. Among all the variables examined, village of residence (p = 0.045) was the only significant predictor for seropositivity. High (> 10.0%) prevalence was associated with three OA villages. Those living in one particular village were 1.65 times more likely to be seropositive as compared to other OA villages. Age, gender, marital status, household size, level of education, monthly household income and occupation were not significant predictors for seropositivity.

Conclusion: Results of the present study support earlier findings that B. burgdorferi infection among Malaysians is currently under-recognized. Further studies will be needed at these locations to confirm the presence of Lyme disease among these populations.

Published
2019-05-31
How to Cite
1.
Khor C-S, Hassan H, Mohd-Rahim N-F, Chandren JR, Nore S-S, Johari J, Loong S-K, Abd-Jamil J, Khoo J-J, Lee H-Y, Pike BL, Li-Ping W, Lim YA-L, AbuBakar S (2019) Seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi among the indigenous people (Orang Asli) of Peninsular Malaysia. J Infect Dev Ctries 13:449-454. doi: 10.3855/jidc.11001
Section
Brief Original Articles