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Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2018 Jul;9(5):1098-1102. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2018.04.005. Epub 2018 Apr 12.

Tick-borne encephalitis virus, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Borrelia miyamotoi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from recreational islands in southern Norway.

Author information

1
University of Agder, Faculty of Engineering Science, Department of Natural Sciences, Gimlemoen 25, NO-4630 Kristiansand, Norway; Sørlandet Hospital Health Enterprise, Research Unit, P. O. Box 416, NO-4604 Kristiansand, Norway. Electronic address: vivian.kjelland@uia.no.
2
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division for Infection Control and Environmental Health, Department of Virology, P. O. Box 4404 Nydalen, NO-0403 Oslo, Norway; University College of Southeast Norway, Department of Natural Sciences and Environmental Health, Gullbringveien 38, NO-3800 Boe, Norway.
3
University of Agder, Faculty of Engineering Science, Department of Natural Sciences, Gimlemoen 25, NO-4630 Kristiansand, Norway.
4
University College of Southeast Norway, Department of Natural Sciences and Environmental Health, Gullbringveien 38, NO-3800 Boe, Norway.
5
Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Department of Production Animal Clinical Sciences, Section of Small Ruminant Research and Herd Health, Kyrkjeveien 332/334, NO-4325 Sandnes, Norway.
6
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division for Infection Control and Environmental Health, Department of Pest Control, P. O. Box 4404 Nydalen, NO-0403 Oslo, Norway.
7
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division for Infection Control and Environmental Health, Department of Virology, P. O. Box 4404 Nydalen, NO-0403 Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence of tick-borne pathogens of medical importance in questing ticks collected from five recreationally used islands along the Norwegian coastline. Furthermore, since coinfection may affect the disease severity, this study aimed to determine the extent of coinfection in individual ticks or co-localization of tick-borne pathogens. In all, 4158 questing Ixodes ricinus ticks were analyzed. For detection of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), nymphs (3690) were analyzed in pools of ten. To detect Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, B. miyamotoi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis, 468 nymphs were analyzed individually. A total of five nymph pools was infected with TBEV, giving an overall prevalence of 0.14%. In the individually analyzed ticks, B. burgdorferi s. l. (15.6%), Candidatus N. mikurensis (11%), A. phagocytophilum (1.4%) and B. miyamotoi (0.9%) were detected. Coinfection was found in 3.3% of the ticks, and the only dual infection observed was with B. afzelii and Candidatus N. mikurensis. This association was significantly higher than what would occur by random chance.

KEYWORDS:

Coinfection; Prevalence; Real-time PCR; Sequencing; Tick-borne pathogens

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