Lyme disease in Wisconsin: epidemiologic, clinical, serologic, and entomologic findings.
In 1980-82, 80 individuals (71 Wisconsin residents) had confirmed Lyme disease (LD-c) reported; 39 additional patients had probable or possible LD. All cases of LD-c occurred during May-November; 73 percent occurred during June-July; 54 (68 percent) occurred in males. The mean age was 38.7 years (range, 7-77 years). Among LD-c patients, likely exposure to the presumed vector Ixodes dammini (ID) occurred in 22 different Wisconsin counties. Antibodies to the ID spirochete that causes LD occurred in 33 of 49 LD-c cases versus 0 of 18 in ill controls (p less than .001) and in 13 of 26 LD-c cases treated with penicillin or tetracycline versus 16 of 19 LD-c cases not treated. Early antibiotic therapy appears to blunt the antibody response to the ID spirochete. Regional tick surveys conducted in Wisconsin during each November in 1979-82 have demonstrated regions of greater density of ID. Utilizing comparable tick collection in these surveys, increases were noted in the percentage of deer with ID from 24 percent (31/128) in 1979 to 38 percent (58/152) in 1981, in the standardized mean value of ID/deer from 1.0 in 1979 to 2.2 in 1981, in the percentage of ID of the total ticks collected from 13 percent in 1979 to 71 percent in 1981, or in the ratio of ID to Dermacentor albipictus ticks from 0.14 in 1979 to 2.44 in 1981. However, a reduction in the density of ID/deer was noted generally throughout Wisconsin in 1982 when compared to 1981. LD is widespread in Wisconsin, with ecologic and clinical features similar to those occurring along the eastern seaboard.