Host dispersal shapes the population structure of a tick-borne bacterial pathogen
Authors: Norte, Ana Claudia; Margos, Gabriele; Becker, Noemie S.; Ramos, Jaime Albino; Nuncio, Maria Sofia; Fingerle, Volker; Araujo, Pedro Miguel; Adamik, Peter; Alivizatos, Haralambos; Barba, Emilio; Barrientos, Rafael; Cauchard, Laure; Csorgo, Tibor; Diakou, Anastasia; Dingemanse, Niels J.; Doligez, Blandine; Dubiec, Anna; Eeva, Tapio; Flaisz, Barbara; Grim, Tomas; Hau, Michaela; Heylen, Dieter; Hornok, Sandor; Kazantzidis, Savas; Kovats, David; Krause, Frantisek; Literak, Ivan; Mand, Raivo; Mentesana, Lucia; Morinay, Jennifer; Mutanen, Marko; Neto, Julio Manuel; Novakova, Marketa; Sanz, Juan Jose; da Silva, Luis Pascoal; Sprong, Hein; Tirri, Ina-Sabrina; Torok, Janos; Trilar, Tomi; Tyller, Zdenek; Visser, Marcel E.; de Carvalho, Isabel Lopes
Birds are hosts for several zoonotic pathogens. Because of their high mobility, especially of longdistance migrants, birds can disperse these pathogens, affecting their distribution and phylogeography. We focused on Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, which includes the causative agents of Lyme borreliosis, as an example for tick-borne pathogens, to address the role of birds as propagation hosts of zoonotic agents at a large geographical scale. We collected ticks from passerine birds in 11 European countries. B. burgdorferi s.l. prevalence in Ixodes spp. was 37% and increased with latitude. The fieldfare Turdus pilaris and the blackbird T. merula carried ticks with the highest Borrelia prevalence (92 and 58%, respectively), whereas robin Erithacus rubecula ticks were the least infected (3.8%). Borrelia garinii was the most prevalent genospecies (61%), followed by B. valaisiana (24%), B. afzelii (9%), B. turdi (5%) and B. lusitaniae (0.5%). A novel Borrelia genospecies "Candidatus Borrelia aligera" was also detected. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis of B. garinii isolates together with the global collection of B. garinii genotypes obtained from the Borrelia MLST public database revealed that: (a) there was little overlap among genotypes from different continents, (b) there was no geographical structuring within Europe, and (c) there was no evident association pattern detectable among B. garinii genotypes from ticks feeding on birds, questing ticks or human isolates. These findings strengthen the hypothesis that the population structure and evolutionary biology of tick-borne pathogens are shaped by their host associations and the movement patterns of these hosts.
ASSOCIATION OF SEROPREVALENCE AND RISK FACTORS IN LYME DISEASE
CENTRAL EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Authors: Busova, Andrea; Dorko, Erik; Feketeova, Eva; Rimarova, Kvetoslava; Diabelkova, Jana; Rovenska, Timea; Csank, Tomas
Objective: The aim of the presented cross-sectional seroepidemiological study was to determine the current presence of antibodies against B. burgdorferi s.l. in the groups of Slovak population, and to identify potential risk factors to Lyme borreliosis. Methods: A group of 261 adults (patients from the Neurological Clinic with possible symptoms of LB and healthy persons with possible working exposure to tick bite: gardeners and soldiers working in afforested areas) were examined in order to assess the seroprevalence of anti-Borrelia antibodies. Sera were screened by commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The respondents completed questionnaires with general demographic, epidemiological and clinical data. Results: We detected 17.2% presence of positive IgG and 5.7% presence of positive IgM antibodies in all investigated groups. Our results confirmed that the following risk factors such as age and gender are significantly associated with the presence of positive specific antibodies against investigated disease. Conclusion: The results of seroprevalence obtained in the present study confirm the possibility of infection with B. burgdorferi among respondents exposed to contact with ticks.