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Prevalence and Diversity of Borrelia Species in Ticks That Have Bitten Humans in Sweden
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Cell Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Medical Microbiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Medical Microbiology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
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2010 (English)In: JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY, ISSN 0095-1137, Vol. 48, no 11, 4169-4176 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Members of the genus Borrelia are among the most common infectious agents causing tick-borne disease in humans worldwide. Here, we developed a Light Upon eXtension (LUX) real-time PCR assay that can detect and quantify Borrelia species in ticks that have fed on humans, and we applied the assay to 399 such ticks. Borrelia PCR-positive ticks were identified to species level by sequencing the products of conventional PCR performed using Borrelia group-specific primers. There was a 19% prevalence of Borrelia spp. in the detached ticks, and the number of spirochetes per Borrelia PCR-positive tick ranged from 2.0 x 10(2) to 4.9 x 10(5), with a median of 7.8 x 10(3) spirochetes. Adult ticks had a significantly larger number of spirochetes, with a median of 8.4 x 10(4) compared to the median of nymphs of 4.4 x 10(4). Adult ticks also exhibited a higher prevalence of Borrelia (33%) than nymphs (14%). Among the identified species, Borrelia afzelii was found to predominate (61%) and was followed by B. garinii (23%), B. valaisiana (13%), B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (1%), B. lusitaniae (1%), and B. miyamotoi-like (1%). Also, 3% of the ticks were coinfected with multiple strains of B. afzelii. Notably, this is the first report of B. lusitaniae being detected in ticks in Sweden. Our LUX real-time PCR assay proved to be more sensitive than a corresponding TaqMan assay. In conclusion, the novel LUX real-time PCR method is a rapid and sensitive tool for detection and quantification of Borrelia spp. in ticks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Society for Microbiology , 2010. Vol. 48, no 11, 4169-4176 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-62152DOI: 10.1128/JCM.01061-10ISI: 000283588500049OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-62152DiVA: diva2:371281
Note
Original Publication: Peter Wilhelmsson, Linda Fryland, Stefan Börjesson, Johan Nordgren, Sven Bergström, Jan Ernerudh, Pia Forsberg and Per-Eric Lindgren, Prevalence and Diversity of Borrelia Species in Ticks That Have Bitten Humans in Sweden, 2010, JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY, (48), 11, 4169-4176. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.01061-10 Copyright: American Society for Microbiology http://www.asm.org/ Available from: 2010-11-19 Created: 2010-11-19 Last updated: 2014-03-25
In thesis
1. A STING from a Tick: Epidemiology, Ecology and Clinical Aspects of Lyme Borreliosis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A STING from a Tick: Epidemiology, Ecology and Clinical Aspects of Lyme Borreliosis
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Lyme borreliosis (LB) is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere and the number of LB cases is increasing. The infection is caused by spirochetes belonging to the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, and is, in Europe, transmitted to humans by Ixodes ricinus ticks.

To gain a deeper knowledge of the interactions between ticks, humans and Borrelia bacteria, we investigated temporal differences in exposure to tick bites in different parts of Sweden and the Åland Islands, Finland during the years 2008 and 2009. We also investigated the site of tick attachment on the human body and the time it takes for a person to detected and remove such ticks. Furthermore, the distribution of Borrelia species and the number of Borrelia cells in the ticks were investigated. Sera taken from the tick-bitten persons at study inclusion were analyzed for the presence of Borrelia antibodies. Three months later, the clinical outcome and the serological response of the tick-bitten persons were investigated. A total of 2154 I. ricinus ticks and 1546 participants were included in the studies.

Participants were exposed to tick bites between April and November, but temporal and spatial differences in exposure to ticks was found. The majority of the tick bites were caused by nymphs (70%) and most tick bites took place on the legs (50%). The site of tick attachment on the body as well as the age and gender of the participant influenced how soon a tick was detected. The majority of participants removed “their” ticks later than 24 hours of attachment. Of all ticks, 26% was Borrelia-infected, but the prevalence varied between the life stages of the tick and between the studied areas. Six species of the B. burgdorferi sensu lato complex and one Borrelia species that may cause tick-borne relapsing fever were detected. Adult ticks that had fed more than 36 hours contained a lower number of Borrelia cells than adult ticks that had fed less than 36 hours. The seroprevalence among the participants varied between genders as well as between the studied areas. Of all participants, 2% was diagnosed with LB and 2.5% seroconverted without an LB diagnose. A correlation between seroconversion and duration time of tick attachment was found, but the number of Borrelia cells in the tick, did not explain the risk of infection for the bitten person.

A deeper knowledge and a better understanding of the interactions between ticks, humans and Borrelia bacteria may contribute reducing the risk for tick bites and the risk of developing LB after a tick bite.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 130 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1385
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105476 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-105476 (DOI)978-91-7519-460-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-04-24, Berzeliussalen, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 09:00 (English)
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Available from: 2014-03-25 Created: 2014-03-25 Last updated: 2014-04-04Bibliographically approved

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Wilhelmsson, PeterFryland, LindaBörjesson, StefanNordgren, JohanErnerudh, JanForsberg, PiaLindgren, Per-Eric

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Wilhelmsson, PeterFryland, LindaBörjesson, StefanNordgren, JohanErnerudh, JanForsberg, PiaLindgren, Per-Eric
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Cell BiologyFaculty of Health SciencesDepartment of Clinical and Experimental MedicineMedical MicrobiologyClinical ImmunologyDepartment of Clinical Immunology and Transfusion MedicineInfectious DiseasesDepartment of Infectious Diseases in Östergötland
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