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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 25, 2015

Coexistence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. genospecies within Ixodes ricinus ticks from central and eastern Poland

Hubert Sytykiewicz, Grzegorz Karbowiak, Joanna Chorostowska-Wynimko, Adam Szpechciński, Marta Supergan-Marwicz, Marcin Horbowicz, Magdalena Szwed, Paweł Czerniewicz and Iwona Sprawka
From the journal Acta Parasitologica


The purpose of the study was to assess the prevalence and coinfection rates of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genotypes in Ixodes ricinus (L.) ticks sampled from diverse localities in central and eastern regions of Poland. In years 2009-2011, questing nymphs and adults of I. ricinus were collected using a flagging method at 18 localities representing distinct ecosystem types: urban green areas, suburban forests and rural woodlands. Molecular detection of B. burgdorferi s.l. genospecies was based on amplification of a fla gene using nested PCR technique, subsequent PCR-RFLP analysis and bidirectional sequencing. It was revealed that 45 samples (2.1%) harboured two different B. burgdorferi s.l. genospecies, whereas triple infections with various spirochetes was found in 11 (0.5%) individuals. Generally, the highest average coinfection rates were evidenced in arachnids gathered at rural woodlands, intermediate at suburban forests, while the lowest were recorded at urban green areas. Overall, single spirochete infections were noted in 16.3% (n = 352/2,153) ticks. Importantly, it is the first report evidencing the occurrence of Borrelia miyamotoi (0.3%, n = 7/2153) in I. ricinus populations within central Poland. Circumstantial variability of B. burgdorferi s.l. genospecies in the common tick individuals sampled at various habitat types in central and eastern Poland was displayed. The coexistence of two or three different spirochete genospecies in single adult ticks, as well as the presence of B. miyamotoi were demonstrated. Therefore, further studies uncovering the co-circulation of the tested bacteria and other human pathogens in I. ricinus ticks are required.


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Received: 2015-4-18
Revised: 2015-4-20
Accepted: 2015-5-13
Published Online: 2015-9-25
Published in Print: 2015-12-1

W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS