Lyme disease spirochetes were demonstrated in a wild female fox (Vulpes vulpes schrencki) and in Ixodes persulcatus ticks collected from the fox on Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. Spirochetes were detected in I. persulcatus, as well as skin lesions, brain, heart, kidney, and liver of the fox. Five of seven isolates reacted with a monoclonal antibody against Borrelia afzelii specific Osp B. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) relatedness of a brain isolate was 89% to B. afzelii, and ranged from 50 to 67% to three other species. Immunoglobulin G antibodies to B. afzelii, B. garinii and B. burgdorferi sensu lato, when tested in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), were negative in the fox. There were no antibodies against seven serovars of Leptospira interrogans.
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Vol. 30 • No. 3