Borrelia burgdorferi exposure in coyotes: an indicator of B. burgdorferi levels in urban versus rural environments



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PICO question

Do wild coyotes in the US that are in an urban habitat compared to a rural habitat have a higher prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi seroconversion?


Clinical bottom line

Category of research question


The number and type of study designs reviewed

Two papers, both utilising a cross-sectional study design

Strength of evidence


Outcomes reported

The relevant studies provide very limited to no evidence towards answering this PICO question. In one, while the absolute percentage of Borrelia-antibody-positive canines (including dogs in addition to coyotes) is higher in metropolitan areas, the effect was not found to be statistically significant, possibly due to their small sample sizes. In the second study, prevalence of antibodies against Borrelia was compared between different rural habitats, but no urban coyotes were tested as a comparison and thus the PICO question cannot be evaluated


There is a knowledge gap concerning the prevalence of Borrelia in coyotes and how it differs between urban and rural environments. Wild coyotes could be used as a sentinel species of Lyme disease activity and to assess potential for domestic pet and human infections, which would inform clinical differential diagnoses as well as testing and vaccination recommendations. More studies are needed before this PICO question can be answered in a confident manner


How to apply this evidence in practice

The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources.

Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care.


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Author Biographies

Laura Shultz, University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

As a dual-degree student pursuing both a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and Masters of Preventive Veterinary Medicine (MPVM), Laura hopes to work in academia or government investigating the conflicts that occur between society and wildlife, evaluating how our health is dependent on each other, and advocating for solutions through a One Health lens. Laura is a member of the Foley Laboratory of Infectious Disease Ecology and a student employee on treatment crews that allows her to expand her clinical and educational skills.

Erik Fausak, University Library, University of California, Davis, 1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616

Erik Fausak is a librarian and veterinary technician that is currently the health sciences librarian at UC Davis. Erik is passionate about the inclusion of Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine (EBVM) into daily practice of veterinary hospitals. He believes that the only way that EBVM can be implemented is by developing a team approach. He is currently working to introduce and train veterinary technicians as research leads in an Evidence-Based Practice.


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Vol. 7 No. 1 (2022): The first issue of 2022

Section: Knowledge Summaries

Categories :  Small Animal  /  Dogs  /  Cats  /  Rabbits  /  Production Animal  /  Cattle  /  Sheep  /  Pig  /  Equine  / 

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