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Prevalence and diversity of Borrelia species in ticks that have bitten humans in Sweden
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2010 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Microbiology, ISSN 0095-1137, E-ISSN 1098-660X, Vol. 48, no 11, 4169-4176 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Members of the genus Borrelia are among the most common infectious agents causing tick-borne disease in humans worldwide. Here, we developed a Light Upon eXtension (LUX) real-time PCR assay that can detect and quantify Borrelia species in ticks that have fed on humans, and we applied the assay to 399 such ticks. Borrelia PCR-positive ticks were identified to species level by sequencing the products of conventional PCR performed using Borrelia group-specific primers. There was a 19% prevalence of Borrelia spp. in the detached ticks, and the number of spirochetes per Borrelia PCR-positive tick ranged from 2.0 x 10(2) to 4.9 x 10(5), with a median of 7.8 x 10(3) spirochetes. Adult ticks had a significantly larger number of spirochetes, with a median of 8.4 x 10(3) compared to the median of nymphs of 4.4 x 10(3). [corrected] Adult ticks also exhibited a higher prevalence of Borrelia (33%) than nymphs (14%). Among the identified species, Borrelia afzelii was found to predominate (61%) and was followed by B. garinii (23%), B. valaisiana (13%), B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (1%), B. lusitaniae (1%), and B. miyamotoi-like (1%). Also, 3% of the ticks were coinfected with multiple strains of B. afzelii. Notably, this is the first report of B. lusitaniae being detected in ticks in Sweden. Our LUX real-time PCR assay proved to be more sensitive than a corresponding TaqMan assay. In conclusion, the novel LUX real-time PCR method is a rapid and sensitive tool for detection and quantification of Borrelia spp. in ticks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 48, no 11, 4169-4176 p.
Keyword [en]
burgdorferi sensu-lato; polymerase-chain-reaction; ixodes-ricinus nymphs; lyme borreliosis; genomic groups; north-america; sp-nov; europe; assay; pcr
National Category
Microbiology in the medical area
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-43204DOI: 10.1128/JCM.01061-10ISI: 000283588500049OAI: diva2:412369
Available from: 2011-04-22 Created: 2011-04-22 Last updated: 2011-10-06Bibliographically approved

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Bergström, Sven
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Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine)Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR)Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS)
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Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Microbiology in the medical area

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