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Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2019 Feb;10(2):360-364. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2018.11.015. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

Regional prevalences of Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia bissettiae, and Bartonella henselae in Ixodes affinis, Ixodes pacificus and Ixodes scapularis in the USA.

Author information

1
Intracellular Pathogens Research Laboratory, Comparative Medicine Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University (NCSU), 1060 William Moore Drive, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA. Electronic address: rgmaggi@ncsu.edu.
2
Public Health Pest Management Section, NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 10005 Waterford Court, Raleigh, NC 27613, USA. Electronic address: marceetoliver@gmail.com.
3
Intracellular Pathogens Research Laboratory, Comparative Medicine Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University (NCSU), 1060 William Moore Drive, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA. Electronic address: tgrichar@ncsu.edu.
4
Department of Plant Sciences and Entomology, Center for Vecto-Borne Disease, College of the Environment and Life Sciences, University of Rhode Island, 231 Woodward Hall, Kingston, RI 02881, USA. Electronic address: tmather@uri.edu.
5
Intracellular Pathogens Research Laboratory, Comparative Medicine Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University (NCSU), 1060 William Moore Drive, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA. Electronic address: ebbreits@ncsu.edu.

Abstract

The objective of this work was to determine the prevalence of Borrelia and Bartonella species in Ixodes spp. ticks collected from 16 USA states. Genus PCR amplification and sequence analysis of Bartonella and Borrelia 16SsRNA-23SsRNA intergenic regions were performed on DNA extracted from 929 questing adult ticks (671 Ixodes scapularis, 155 Ixodes affinis, and 103 Ixodes pacificus). Overall, 129/929 (13.9%) Ixodes ticks were PCR positive for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, 48/929 for B. bissettiae whereas 23/929 (2.5%) were PCR positive for a Bartonella henselae. Borrelia bissettiae or B. burgdorferi s.s. and B. henselae co-infections were found in I. affinis from North Carolina at a rate of 4.5%; in a single I. scapularis from Minnesota, but not in I. pacificus. For both bacterial genera, PCR positive rates were highly variable depending on geographic location and tick species, with Ixodes affinis (n = 155) collected from North Carolina, being the tick species with the highest prevalence's for both Borrelia spp. (63.2%) and B. henselae (10.3%). Based on the results of this and other published studies, improved understanding of the enzootic cycle, transmission dynamics, and vector competence of Ixodes species (especially I. affinis) for transmission of Borrelia spp. and B. henselae should be a public health research priority.

KEYWORDS:

B. bissettiae; Bartonella; Borrelia; I. affinis; I. scapularis; Ixodes

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