Borrelia mayonii is a recently discovered bacterial spirochete that causes Lyme disease and is transmitted by the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae). To date, B. mayonii has been isolated from two vertebrate host species in Minnesota: field-caught white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus Rafinesque; Rodentia: Cricetidae) and American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus Erxleben). Here, we describe the first detection of B. mayonii in field-caught eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus L. (Rodentia: Cricetidae)) from northern Wisconsin. During our study, we captured 530 unique small mammals and found an infection prevalence of 23.50% in field-caught eastern chipmunks (4/17) and 1.19% in Peromyscus spp. (5/420). Mean larval and nymphal burdens were determined for captured Blarina brevicauda (0, 0), Glaucomys volans (0.29, 0.14), Myodes gapperi (0.27, 0), Napaeozapus insignis (0, 0.25), Peromyscus spp. (1.88, 0.11), T. striatus (1.06, 0.65), and Sorex cinereus (0.09, 0). The high B. mayonii infection prevalence in eastern chipmunks suggests that the species may be an important reservoir for B. mayonii in the Upper Midwest.
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Vol. 58 • No. 6