On September 25-28, 2017, a group of scientists of TSMU’s Department of Infectious Diseases visited forestry workers of Zakarpatska region. The visit had two main goals: first, to assess how much the foresters know about epidemiology, main clinical signs and prevention of Lyme borreliosis, and second, to test for Lyme infection across this professional group.
This study is a part of the large-scale research project “Study of epidemiology, pathogenesis and clinical symptoms of Lyme borreliosis in endemic regions of Ukraine and improvement of its diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention”. This research project is funded through a national grant.
The employees of the Mizhirskyi, Vynohradivsky and Khustiv forest enterprises in Zakarpatska region filled out a questionnaire specifying the number and location of tick bites, methods for removing ticks, whether they had tested the ticks for Lyme borreliosis, complaints after tick bites, application of repellents when entering a forested area, and examining skin after leaving the area.
In addition to answering the questions, the forestry workers shared their knowledge about Transcarpathia forests, kinds of trees, and the favored tick habitats within the Mizhirskyi, Vynohradivsky and Khustiv forest enterprises. TSMU researchers enjoyed meeting forestry experts dedicated to preserving this lush green area of Ukraine.
In total, 141 forestry workers answered the questionnaire. In addition to it, TSMU researchers collected blood samples for further laboratory tests to detect undiagnosed borreliosis infection.
Employees of the Mizhirskyi and Vynohradivsky forest enterprises answer the study questionnaire administered by assistant professor of the department of infectious diseases Maria Shkilna and intern specializing in skin and ST diseases Inna Holubets.
Nurse MI Yablonska and Ternopil Regional Clinical Skin and STD Hospital intern Oksana Zinko collect blood samples.
Nurse Halyna Zakharkiv and post-graduate student of TSMU Department of Infectious Diseases Kateryna Yavorska enjoyed hospitality of Khust forestry workers.