Ixodes ricinus ticks (Acari: Ixodidae): vectors for Lyme disease spirochetes in Romania

Exp Appl Acarol. 2011 Jul;54(3):293-300. doi: 10.1007/s10493-011-9438-4. Epub 2011 Mar 24.

Abstract

In this study 1,868 questing Ixodes ricinus ticks (nymphs and adults), collected in six sites from three counties--Giurgiu, Sibiu, and Tulcea--in Romania, were examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by reverse line blot (RLB) for detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato presence. The bacteria were found in 18% of the investigated ticks. The prevalence of infection did not differ significantly between nymphs (19.1%) and adults (15.4%). Three B. burgdorferi s.l. genospecies were detected: B. afzelii (61.1%), B. garinii (31.2%), and B. valaisiana (7.7%). No mixed infections were detected. The highest infection prevalence in nymphs was detected at Cristian (Sibiu County)--22.0%, whereas in adults it was at Comana (Giurgiu County)--19.8%. This preliminary study provides evidence that Lyme disease spirochetes are present in various regions of Romania, and at a relatively high prevalence in their vectors, thus posing a risk of infection to human subjects in the areas infested by ticks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachnid Vectors / microbiology*
  • Arachnid Vectors / physiology
  • Borrelia burgdorferi / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Ixodes / microbiology*
  • Ixodes / physiology
  • Lyme Disease / epidemiology
  • Lyme Disease / microbiology*
  • Nymph / microbiology
  • Nymph / physiology
  • Risk Assessment
  • Romania