Prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi in Ixodes Ticks in Europe and the United States - Volume 20, Number 10—October 2014 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC
Volume 20, Number 10—October 2014
Prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi in Ixodes Ticks in Europe and the United States
Ixodes ticks can transmit a variety of pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, and protozoa (1). Borrelia spirochetes are one of the genera of bacteria transmitted by Ixodes ticks. Most Borrelia that infect ticks belong to the Borrelia burgdorferi senso lato group and include B. burgdorferi senso stricto, B. garinii, and B. afzelii, all of which cause Lyme disease in humans (1). Borrelia miyamotoi has been found in a variety of Ixodes ticks and is more closely related to the relapsing fever spirochetes that infect soft ticks than to the bacteria that cause Lyme disease (2).
B. miyamotoi found in Europe and the United States also cause disease in humans (3–5). A study in Russia has shown that the spirochete B. miyamotoi has the ability to infect humans; infections with B. miyamotoi cause symptoms similar to those seen with relapsing fever, as well as erythema migrans-like skin lesions on rare occasions (6). B. miyamotoi has been found in ticks of the following species: Ixodes scapularis and I. pacificus in the United States, I. persulcatus in Japan, and I. ricinus and I. persulcatus in Europe and Asia (2,7–11). In North America, B. miyamotoi has been found as far north as the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Nova Scotia (12). In the United States, the geographic range of B. miyamotoi is from the Northeast to California and has been reported as far south as Tennessee (7,8,13–15). Previous studies have shown that B. miyamotoi can be placed into different genetic groups based upon its geographic location and has some variation within the genographic groups (6,9).
To examine the prevalence distribution and diversity of B. miyamotoi in Ixodes ticks, we screened individual ticks by PCR and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS) to detect tickborne pathogens, including B. miyamotoi (16). This approach has been used to characterize tickborne microorganisms, including Ehrlichia and Borrelia, from clinical specimens, heartworms in canine blood, and naturally occurring tick endosymbionts (16–19). Ticks that tested positive for B. miyamotoi were further characterized by using a Borrelia genotyping assay to assess genetic diversity (20).
Dr Crowder is a researcher at Ibis Biosciences working on vectorborne disease diagnostics. His research interests include tick-transmitted diseases in both the vector and in clinical patients.
We thank our many collaborators who collected ticks for this study. We also thank Wakoli Wekesa, Robert Cummings, Paul Binding, David James, Ronald Keith, Angella Falco, Ann Donohue, Jamesina Scott, Stacy Berden, and Jack Cavier for collection of the California Ixodes ticks; Jianmin Zhong for ticks from Humbolt County; Scott Campbell and Keith Clay for ticks from New York and Indiana, respectively; John Bruno and Dan Qui for ticks from New York and Connecticut; and Kirby Stafford for ticks from Connecticut.
This study was supported by National Institutes of Health grant no. 2R44AI077156.
M.W.E., C.D.C., H.E.M., M.A.R., D.J.E. are employees of Ibis Biosciences Inc., an Abbott Company that developed the PCR/ESI-MS assays and instrumentation used in these studies. Assays described are for research use only. H.H., B.M., and O.N. are employees of the laboratory of Dr Brunner, which was contracted to test ticks.
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Suggested citation for this article: Crowder CD, Carolan HE, Rounds MA, Honig V, Mothes B, Haag H, et al. Prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi in Ixodesticks in Europe and the United States. Emerg Infect Dis. 2014 Oct [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2010.131583