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. 2010 Apr;10(3):217-21.
doi: 10.1089/vbz.2009.0036.

Assessment of Polymicrobial Infections in Ticks in New York State

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Free PMC article

Assessment of Polymicrobial Infections in Ticks in New York State

Rafal Tokarz et al. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Ixodes scapularis ticks are clinically important hematophagous vectors. A single tick bite can lead to a polymicrobial infection. We determined the prevalence of polymicrobial infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia microti, Borrelia miyamotoi, and Powassan virus in 286 adult ticks from the two counties in New York State where Lyme disease is endemic, utilizing a MassTag multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay. Seventy-one percent of the ticks harbored at least one organism; 30% had a polymicrobial infection. Infections with three microbes were detected in 5% of the ticks. One tick was infected with four organisms. Our results show that coinfection is a frequent occurrence in ticks in the two counties surveyed.

Figures

FIG. 1.
FIG. 1.
Map indicating tick collection sites within New York State.
FIG. 2.
FIG. 2.
Confirmation of MassTag polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results. (A) Powassan virus PCR using E gene primers on seven tick samples positive for Powassan virus by MassTag PCR (NS 5 gene; see Table 1). Lanes 1–7 represent tick samples, NTC, no template control; L, 100 base pair DNA ladder. (B) Confirmatory PCR of a polymicrobial infection in a single tick. Lane 1, Borrelia burgdorferi ospA; lane 3, Babesia microti 18S rRNA; lane 5, Anaplasma phagocytophilum gltA; lane 7, Borrelia miyamotoi flaB. Lanes 2, 4, 6, and 8 represent ospA, 18S rRNA, gltA, and flaB no template controls, respectively.

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