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Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2017 Aug;8(5):677-681. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2017.03.008. Epub 2017 Apr 5.

Transmission of Borrelia miyamotoi sensu lato relapsing fever group spirochetes in relation to duration of attachment by Ixodes scapularis nymphs.

Author information

1
Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3156 Rampart Road, Fort Collins, CO 80521, United States.
2
Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3156 Rampart Road, Fort Collins, CO 80521, United States. Electronic address: evp4@cdc.gov.

Abstract

Borrelia miyamotoi sensu lato relapsing fever group spirochetes are emerging as causative agents of human illness (Borrelia miyamotoi disease) in the United States. Host-seeking Ixodes scapularis ticks are naturally infected with these spirochetes in the eastern United States and experimentally capable of transmitting B. miyamotoi. However, the duration of time required from tick attachment to spirochete transmission has yet to be determined. We therefore conducted a study to assess spirochete transmission by single transovarially infected I. scapularis nymphs to outbred white mice at three time points post-attachment (24, 48, and 72h) and for a complete feed (>72-96h). Based on detection of B. miyamotoi DNA from the blood of mice fed on by an infected nymph, the probability of spirochete transmission increased from 10% by 24h of attachment (evidence of infection in 3/30 mice) to 31% by 48h (11/35 mice), 63% by 72h (22/35 mice), and 73% for a complete feed (22/30 mice). We conclude that (i) single I. scapularis nymphs effectively transmit B. miyamotoi relapsing fever group spirochetes while feeding, (ii) transmission can occur within the first 24h of nymphal attachment, and (iii) the probability of transmission increases with the duration of nymphal attachment.

KEYWORDS:

Borrelia miyamotoi; Ixodes scapularis; Transmission; Vector

PMID:
28501504
PMCID:
PMC5665651
DOI:
10.1016/j.ttbdis.2017.03.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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