Prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in questing ticks from a recreational coniferous forest of East Saxony, Germany

Sándor Szekeres, Jenny Lügner, Volker Fingerle, Gabriele Margos, G. Földvári

Research output: Article

11 Citations (Scopus)


The hard tick Ixodes ricinus is the most important vector of tick-transmitted pathogens in Europe, frequently occurring in urban parks and greenbelts utilized for recreational activities. This species is the most common vector of the causative agents of Lyme borreliosis in Europe. Similarly, the species spreads Borrelia miyamotoi, causing a relapsing-fever like illness. A total of 1774 Ixodes ricinus (50 females, 68 males, 840 nymphs and 818 larvae) were collected with flagging between March and September 2014 in a coniferous forest patch in Niederkaina near the town of Bautzen in Saxony, Germany. To measure questing tick density a time-based density estimating method was utilized. From each month, a total of 100 adults and nymphal ticks and all larvae (pools of 10 individuals per tube/month) were selected for the molecular analyses. For simultaneous detection of B. burgdorferi s.l. and B. miyamotoi a duplex real-time PCR targeting the flaB locus was performed. Prevalence of B. burgdorferi s.l. was 9.4% (female: 6%, male: 2.9%, nymph: 12.2%, larva: 0%) and minimum prevalence of B. miyamotoi was 1.2% (female: 0%, male: 4.3%, nymph: 2.8%, larva: 0.1%) in the 714 samples with real-time polymerase chain reaction. A real-time PCR reaction was utilized first to target the histone-like protein gene (hbb) of B. burgdorferi s.l., a hemi-nested outer surface protein (ospA) gene conventional PCR was then performed followed by a restriction enzyme analysis to distinguish B. burgdorferi s.l. genospecies. Seven B. afzelii, one B. burgdorferi s.s., one B. bavariensis and four B. miyamotoi infections were confirmed. Prevalence of Lyme borreliosis spirochetes was significantly higher in nymphs than in adults (p < 0.01, Fisher exact test) probably due to the diluting effect of the local roe deer population. Our data highlight the potential risk of human infection with the emerging pathogen B. miyamotoi within the study area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)922-927
Number of pages6
JournalTicks and Tick-borne Diseases
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - okt. 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases

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