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1 March 2006 Borrelia lusitaniae and Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiae in Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) in Tuscany, Central Italy
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Abstract

Prevalence of infection by Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. and spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae was estimated in host-seeking ticks in an area in Tuscany, central Italy, where Lyme borreliosis was reported in a forestry worker. B. burgdorferi s.l. was identified by polymerase chain reaction in 16.7% (95% CI = 10.3, 24.8) of Ixodes ricinus (L.) nymphs and 39.6% (95% CI = 26.5, 54.0) of adults. Borrelia lusitaniae accounted for 82.9% of positive samples, followed by Borrelia garinii (9.8%), Borrelia afzelii (2.4%), and Borrelia burgdorferi s.s. (2.4%). One Rhipicephalus spp. adult was infected with B. garinii (prevalence = 8.3%; 95% CI = 0.21, 38.5). Prevalence of infection by SFG rickettsiae was 38.5% (95% CI = 26.7, 51.4) in I. ricinus nymphs, 34.6% (95% CI = 22.0, 49.1) in I. ricinus adults, and 50% (95% CI = 21.1, 78.9) in Rhipicephalus spp. adults. Phylogenetic analysis showed the similarity of B. lusitaniae strains that were identified in this study and of a strain that was previously isolated from a human patient in Portugal. Results of this study confirm the dominance of B. lusitaniae in areas in the Mediterranean basin and the infection by SFG rickettsiae in I. ricinus.

Luigi Bertolotti, Laura Tomassone, Clara Tramuta, Elena Grego, Giuseppina Amore, Cecilia Ambrogi, Patrizia Nebbia, and Alessandro Mannelli "Borrelia lusitaniae and Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiae in Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) in Tuscany, Central Italy," Journal of Medical Entomology 43(2), 159-165, (1 March 2006). https://doi.org/10.1603/0022-2585(2006)043[0159:BLASFG]2.0.CO;2
Received: 6 August 2005; Accepted: 6 November 2005; Published: 1 March 2006
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