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The AxBioTick Study: Borrelia Species and Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus in Ticks, and Clinical Responses in Tick-Bitten Individuals on the Aland Islands, Finland
Borrelia Research Group of the Aland Islands, The Aland Islands, Finland; Bimelix AB, The Aland Islands, Finland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3388-9630
Linköping University, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Inflammation and Infection. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8580-4021
Borrelia Research Group of the Aland Islands,The Aland Islands, Finland;Bimelix AB, The Aland Islands, Finland.
Borrelia Research Group of the Aland Islands, The Aland Islands, Finland.
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2023 (English)In: Microorganisms, E-ISSN 2076-2607, Vol. 11, no 5, article id 1100Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The AxBioTick Study: Borrelia Species and Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus in Ticks, and Clinical Responses in Tick-Bitten Individuals on the Aland Islands, Finlandby  Nellie Carlströmer Berthén 1,2,*,† , Eszter Tompa 3,† , Susanne Olausson 1,2, Clara Nyberg 1, Dag Nyman 1,2, Malin Ringbom 1,4, Linda Perander 1,4, Joel Svärd 3, Per-Eric Lindgren 3,5, Pia Forsberg 3, Peter Wilhelmsson 3,5,‡, Johanna Sjöwall 3,6,‡  and Marika Nordberg 1,4,‡  1Borrelia Research Group of the Aland Islands, 22100 Mariehamn, The Aland Islands, Finland2Bimelix AB, 22100 Mariehamn, The Aland Islands, Finland3Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Division of Inflammation and Infection, Linkoping University, 581 83 Linkoping, Sweden4The Aland Islands Healthcare Services, 22100 Mariehamn, The Aland Islands, Finland5Clinical Microbiology, Laboratory Medicine, County Hospital Ryhov, 551 85 Jonkoping, Sweden6Department of Infectious Diseases, Vrinnevi Hospital, 603 79 Norrkoping, Sweden*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.†These authors contributed equally to the study.‡These authors contributed equally to the study.Microorganisms 2023, 11(5), 1100; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11051100Received: 30 March 2023 / Revised: 17 April 2023 / Accepted: 19 April 2023 / Published: 22 April 2023(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Ticks and Tick-Borne Pathogens)

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AbstractThe AxBioTick study was initiated to investigate the prevalence of ticks and tick-borne pathogens and their impact on antibody and clinical responses in tick-bitten individuals on the Aland Islands. This geographical area is hyperendemic for both Lyme borreliosis (LB) and Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Blood samples and ticks were collected from 100 tick-bitten volunteers. A total of 425 ticks was collected, all determined to Ixodes ricinus using molecular tools. Of them 20% contained Borrelia species, of which B. garinii and B. afzelii were most common. None contained the TBE virus (TBEV). Blood samples were drawn in conjunction with the tick bite, and eight weeks later. Sera were analyzed for Borrelia- and TBEV-specific antibodies using an ELISA and a semiquantitative antibody assay. In total 14% seroconverted in Borrelia C6IgG1, 3% in TBEV IgG, and 2% in TBEV IgM. Five participants developed clinical manifestations of LB. The high seroprevalence of both Borrelia (57%) and TBEV (52%) antibodies are likely attributed to the endemic status of the corresponding infections as well as the TBE vaccination program. Despite the similar prevalence of Borrelia spp. detected in ticks in other parts of Europe, the infection rate in this population is high. The AxBioTick study is continuing to investigate more participants and ticks for co-infections, and to characterize the dermal immune response following a tick bite.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2023. Vol. 11, no 5, article id 1100
Keywords [en]
Borrelia; tick-borne encephalitis virus; Ixodes ricinus; tick bite; clinical; prospective study; ELISA; antibody responses; clinical responses
National Category
Infectious Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-194108DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms11051100ISI: 000997517600001PubMedID: 37317075OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-194108DiVA, id: diva2:1759503
Note

Funding agencies: The Wilhelm and Else Stockmann foundation, The foundation for medical research of the Åland cultural foundation, The Jubilee foundation from the provincial government of the Aland Island (Borrelia Research Group of the Aland Islands), Region Östergötland (ALF Grant, RÖ968220) (J.S. (Johanna Sjöwall)), the Medical Research Council of Southeast Sweden (FORSS, 931010) (P.W.), the Division of Laboratory Medicine, Region Jönköping County, and the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund and the Interreg North Sea Region Program 2014–2020 as part of the NorthTick project (reference number J-No.: 38-2-7-19) (P.-E.L.).

Available from: 2023-05-26 Created: 2023-05-26 Last updated: 2023-06-19

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Tompa, EszterLindgren, Per-EricForsberg, PiaWilhelmsson, PeterSjöwall, Johanna

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