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Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2010 Mar;1(1):23-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2009.11.001. Epub 2009 Dec 16.

Diversity of Borrelia genospecies in Ixodes ricinus ticks in a Lyme borreliosis endemic area in Switzerland identified by using new probes for reverse line blotting.

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Institute of Biology, Laboratory of Eco-Epidemiology of Parasites, University of Neuchâtel, Emile Argand 11, Case postale 158, 2009 Neuchâtel, Switzerland.


In Europe, 7 Borrelia species belonging to the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex have been reported in Ixodes ricinus ticks. In addition, another Borrelia, related to the relapsing fever spirochaetes, has also been described. In the present study, we designed probes for reverse line blotting allowing detection and identification of all these Borrelia species after amplification of the variable spacer region between the 23S and 5S ribosomal genes. These new probes allowed us investigate the diversity of Borrelia in 915 I. ricinus collected on the south-facing slope of Chaumont (Switzerland). Among the 159 infected ticks, 7 Borrelia species were identified, and B. spielmanii and relapsing fever-like (RFL) spirochaetes were identified in this area for the first time. B. valaisiana and B. spielmanii were significantly less present in male than in female or nymphal ticks. Mixed infection with RFL spirochaetes and Lyme borreliosis spirochaetes were detected in 4 ticks. In addition, the set of probes could identify the recently described species, B. bavariensis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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