IJERPH, Vol. 17, Pages 3607: Local Population Structure and Seasonal Variability of Borrelia garinii Genotypes in Ixodes ricinus Ticks, Slovakia

In this study, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was employed to investigate the local population structure of B. garinii in Ixodes ricinus ticks. The study took place in a natural wetland in Slovakia, temporally encompassing spring and autumn bird migration periods as well as the breeding period of resident birds. In total, we examined 369 and 255 ticks collected from 78 birds and local vegetation, respectively. B. burgdorferi s.l. was detected in 43.4% (160/369) of ticks recovered from birds and in 26.3% (67/255) of questing ticks, respectively. Considering the ticks from bird hosts, the highest prevalence was found for single infections with B. garinii (22.5%). Infection intensity of B. garinii in bird-feeding ticks was significantly higher than that in questing ticks. We identified ten B. garinii sequence types (STs) occurring exclusively in bird-feeding ticks, two STs occurring exclusively in questing ticks, and one ST (ST 244) occurring in both ticks from birds and questing ticks. Four B. garinii STs were detected for the first time herein. With the exception of ST 93, we detected different STs in spring and summer for bird-feeding ticks. Our results are consistent with previous studies of the low geographic structuring of B. garinii genotypes. However, our study reveals some consistency in local ST occurrence and a geographic signal for one of the clonal complexes.
Source: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Article Source Type: research

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