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Parasit Vectors. 2011 Sep 20;4:182. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-4-182.

Anaplasmataceae and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in the sand lizard Lacerta agilis and co-infection of these bacteria in hosted Ixodes ricinus ticks.

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  • 1Department of Behavioural Ecology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Umultowska 89, 61-614 Poznań, Poland.



Anaplasmataceae and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. are important tick-borne bacteria maintained in nature by transmission between ticks and vertebrate hosts. However, the potential role of lizards as hosts has not been sufficiently studied.


The current study showed that 23 of 171 examined sand lizards Lacerta agilis were PCR positive for Anaplasmataceae. The nucleotide sequences of the several selected PCR products showed 100% homology with Anaplasma spp. found in Ixodes ricinus collected in Tunisia and Morocco (AY672415 - AY672420). 1.2% of lizard collar scale samples were PCR positive for B. lusitaniae. In addition, 12 of 290 examined I. ricinus were PCR positive for B. burgdorferi s.l. and 82 were PCR positive for Anaplasmatacea. The number of ticks per lizard and the number of ticks PCR positive for both microorganisms per lizard were strongly correlated. Moreover, we found a significant correlation between numbers of ticks infected with Anaplasmataceae and with B. burgdorferi s.l. living on the same lizard. However, there was no significant correlation between detection of both bacteria in the same tick.


To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of Anaplasmataceae DNA and additionally the second report of B. burgdorferi s.l DNA detection in the sand lizard.

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