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Emerg Infect Dis. 2014 Jul;20(7):1183-90. doi: 10.3201/eid2007.131587.

Borrelia miyamotoi sensu lato seroreactivity and seroprevalence in the northeastern United States.


Borrelia miyamotoi sensu lato, a relapsing fever Borrelia sp., is transmitted by the same ticks that transmit B. burgdorferi (the Lyme disease pathogen) and occurs in all Lyme disease-endemic areas of the United States. To determine the seroprevalence of IgG against B. miyamotoi sensu lato in the northeastern United States and assess whether serum from B. miyamotoi sensu lato-infected persons is reactive to B. burgdorferi antigens, we tested archived serum samples from area residents during 1991-2012. Of 639 samples from healthy persons, 25 were positive for B. miyamotoi sensu lato and 60 for B. burgdorferi. Samples from ≈10% of B. miyamotoi sensu lato-seropositive persons without a recent history of Lyme disease were seropositive for B. burgdorferi. Our results suggest that human B. miyamotoi sensu lato infection may be common in southern New England and that B. burgdorferi antibody testing is not an effective surrogate for detecting B. miyamotoi sensu lato infection.


Borrelia burgdorferi; Borrelia miyamotoi infection; Borrelia miyamotoi sensu lato; Lyme disease; New England; New York State; United States; bacteria; northeastern United States; relapsing fever; seroprevalence; seroreactivity; spirochete; tick-borne disease; ticks

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