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Med Vet Entomol. 1999 May;13(2):204-8.

Mixed infection by tick-borne encephalitis virus and Borrelia in ticks.

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Gamaleya Institute for Epidemiology and Microbiology, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow.


To investigate the relationships between tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus and the bacterial spirochaete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in vectors with mixed infections, unfed adult Ixodes persulcatus ticks were collected by flagging from vegetation in southern-taiga forests of the Pre-Urals region of Russia where both infections circulate sympatrically. Prevalences of TBE and Borrelia infections in a total of 4234 ticks were compared over 5 years. No significant differences were revealed between the prevalence of Borrelia infection in ticks with and without TBE virus (29.4+/-7.8% vs 23+/-3.6%), or between the prevalence of TBE virus infection in ticks with and without Borrelia (24.0+/-6.6% vs 18.4+/-3.4%). In ticks with mixed infection (40/689 = 5.8%), concentrations of TBE virus and Borrelia were not significantly correlated with one another. Field observations showed parallel trends in the prevalence of these pathogens in tick populations from year to year (1993-1997) indicating that, in I. persulcatus with mixed infection, Borrelia and TBE virus do not seem to interfere with each other and are apparently not involved in any antagonistic relationships.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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