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Medical / Scientific Abstract


Title:Tick-borne borrelioses pathogen identification in Ixodes ticks (Acarina, Ixodidae) collected in St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad Baltic regions of Russia.
Authors:Alekseev AN, Dubinina HV, Antykova LP, Dzhivanyan TI, Rijpkema SG, Kruif NV, Cinco M
Source:J Med Entomol 1998 Mar;35(2):136-42
Organization:Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Abstract:
Two isolated Baltic seashore populations of Ixodes ticks were studied as vectors of different Borrelia genospecies in Russia by using darkfield microscopy and modified polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In the Kalinigrad region (Kurish Spit, forests near the settlements of Lesnoye and Rybachy), 788 Ixodes ricinus (L.) adults and nymphs were collected by flagging and studied by darkfield microscopy during 1995-1996. There were 88 darkfield microscopy positive specimens (11.2%) of which 69 were also analyzed by PCR. Borrelia afzelii and B. garinii were found individually and together in ticks. In this region, on the Kurish Spit, 7 patients with tick borrelioses were observed: 2 in the Russian part of Spit and 5 in the Lithuanian part. A significant difference was found between Borrelia prevalence during the spring and fall peaks of tick abundance. Specimens that were darkfield microscopy positive prevailed in the fall (25.15%) in comparison with the spring peak (7.3%). The number of specimens with identified genospecies prevailed in the spring: 22 out of 35 versus 4 out of 31 in the fall. Among 29 PCR positive I. ricinus, 21 contained B. afzelii, 3 had B. garinii, and 2 had dual infection. In 1995, only B. afzelii infected specimens were observed. In the vicinity of St. Petersburg (the seashore of the northern Gulf of Finland, in forests near Lisy Nos, Morskaja) during 1992-1996, 31 patients with a tick-borne borrelioses were registered. We collected 487 Ixodes persulcatus Schulze by flagging and studied them by darkfield microscopy in 1995-1996 of which 144 ticks (29.6%) were darkfield microscopy positive. Sixty darkfield-positive specimens were analyzed by PCR, and in 88.3% of cases genospecies were identified. B. afzelii and B. garinii were identified individually and together in ticks. In 1995, I. persulcatus with dual infection prevailed with 11 out of 21 (52.4% positive), whereas in 1996, most I. persulcatus ticks contained B. garinii (81.2%). Dual infection was observed in 4 of 32 (12.5%) ticks. Dual infections in I. persulcatus females increased within the seasonal peak of tick activity as was observed in 1995 and in 1996. Many patients not only had erythema migrans, but also exhibited early neurological symptoms that coincided with the number of tick vectors that had dual infections in June, indicating that these patients were bitten by female ticks that had dual infections. A significant difference existed between levels of infection in I. ricinus and I. persulcatus, with all 3 types of Borrelia infection observed 2 times more often in I. persulcatus than in I. ricinus and dual infection occurred in I. persulcatus 3.7 times more often. It appeared that I. persulcatus is a much more dangerous vector of tick-borne borrelioses than I. ricinus.

Keywords:
Animal, Baltic States, Borrelia, CLASSIFICATION, GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT, ISOLATION & PURIF, Female, Geography, Ixodes, GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT, MICROBIOLOGY, Male, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Russia, Seasons, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language: Eng

Unique ID: 98199399


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