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Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2012 Dec;3(5-6):406-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2012.10.001. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

Multiple tick-associated bacteria in Ixodes ricinus from Slovakia.

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Aix Marseille Université, Unité de Recherche en Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales Emergentes (URMITE), UM63, CNRS 7278, IRD 198, Inserm 1095, WHO Collaborative Center for Rickettsioses and Other Arthropod Borne Bacterial Diseases, 27 bd Jean Moulin, 13385 Marseille Cedex 5, France.


Eighty Ixodes ricinus ticks collected in the Rovinka forest in Slovakia were tested by real-time and routine single-step PCR for the presence of different pathogenic and endosymbiotic bacteria. No evidence of Coxiella burnetii, Diplorickettsia massiliensis, or Bartonella spp. was found. However, we identified, as the pathogenic bacteria, Anaplasma phagocytophilum in 8%, Rickettsia helvetica in 11%, Borrelia afzelii in 9%, Bo. garinii in 8%, Bo. burgdorferi sensu stricto in 5%, Bo. valaisiana in 3%, and Bo. miyamotoi in 1% of ticks. Other bacteria with unknown or suspected pathogenicity for humans were also identified: Arsenophonus nasoniae in 25%, Spiroplasma ixodetis in 3%, Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii in 4%, Wolbachia aff. pipientis in 14%, and Ehrlichia muris in 3% of ticks. A. nasoniae was found almost exclusively in nymphs, and E. muris was only found in adult ticks. In total, 65% of ticks contained at least one species of bacteria, and 16% contained 2 or more species.

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