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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.


Open Access Peer Reviewed