An internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) sequence between the 5.8S and 28S rRNA genes was used to estimate the phyletic relationships among Ixodes spp. tick vectors of Lyme disease-causing Borrelia spirochetes. Analysis indicates that Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species associated with Lyme disease are found mainly in ticks of the Ixodes ricinus species complex. Other closely related tick species are not known to transmit the Borrelia-that cause Lyme disease in humans, but they appear to have a specific association with other closely related Borrelia species. There is a high degree of concordance in the phylogenetics of Borrelia taxa and the phylogenetic relationships among Ixodes ticks.
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