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

Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from southern Poland

Joanna K. Strzelczyk, Jadwiga Gaździcka, Piotr Cuber, Marek Asman, Gizela Trapp, Karolina Gołąbek, Marzena Zalewska-Ziob, Magdalena Nowak-Chmura, Krzysztof Siuda, Andrzej Wiczkowski and Krzysztof Solarz
From the journal Acta Parasitologica

Abstract

In 2008-2011 ticks were collected from southern Poland. Out of 6336 individuals collected and identified as Ixodes ricinus, 768 (2 larvae, 84 nymphs, 417 females, 265 males) were included in molecular study. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and types of genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in ticks. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was applied to detect the presence of pathogens in ticks. Subsequently the amplified DNA was digested with TasI enzyme. The infection rate was 15% (116) of examined ticks. PCR-RFLP analysis allowed distinguishing three genospecies of B. burgdorferi s.l.: B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. afzelii, and B. garinii. RFLP analyses of 116 positive samples revealed 96 (83%) monoinfections and 13 (11%) coinfections, whereas unidentified genospecies were present in 7 (6%) of positive samples. In the case of monoinfections, B. burgdorferi s.s. was the predominant species of pathogen in infected ticks - 61.4%. Other genospecies: B. garinii and B. afzelii were detected in 22.9% and 15.6% of the samples, respectively. To sum up, 15 % of ticks were infected by B. burgdorferi s.l which increases the risk of human infections in the recreational areas of southern Poland. Furthermore, there is a need to increase public awareness and implement more preventive measures concerning Lyme disease.

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Received: 2014-8-28
Revised: 2015-5-7
Accepted: 2015-5-13
Published Online: 2015-9-25
Published in Print: 2015-12-1

W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS