The antibody responses of subjects who presented with a definite Ixodes scapularis (Say) tick bite were measured to determine the utility of the antibody response against recombinant tick calreticulin (rTC) as a biologic marker of tick exposure. Subjects bitten by I. scapularis evidenced an increase in anti-rTC antibody levels between visit 1 and visit 2 from 24.3 to 27.1 ng/μl serum (n = 88, p = 0.003), and levels remained elevated at visit 3 (p = 0.005). These anti-rTC antibody levels during visits 2 and 3 were significantly higher than those in four non-exposed controls. Tick engorgement indices, measured on the biting ticks, were found to be correlated with anti-rTC antibody levels (e.g., for visit 3: Pearson's r = 0.357, p = 0.001). Tick engorgement index (TEI), ratio of body length to scutal width, was identified to be the only independent predictor of anti- rTC antibody levels in linear regression models. Logistic regression revealed that a bite from an I. scapularis tick that became engorged (TEI >3.4) was a risk factor for anti-rTC antibody seropositivity (adjusted odds ratio for age and bite location = 7.4 (95% confidence interval 2.1-26.4)). The anti-rTC antibody test had a sensitivity of 0.50 and a specificity of 0.86 for a bite from I. scapularis that became engorged. Immunoblotting revealed that subjects made a specific anti-rTC antibody response.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||American journal of epidemiology|
|State||Published - Apr 15 1999|
- Biologic marker
- Lyme disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas