Humans infected with relapsing fever spirochete Borrelia miyamotoi, Russia

Emerg Infect Dis. 2011 Oct;17(10):1816-23. doi: 10.3201/eid1710.101474.


Borrelia miyamotoi is distantly related to B. burgdorferi and transmitted by the same hard-body tick species. We report 46 cases of B. miyamotoi infection in humans and compare the frequency and clinical manifestations of this infection with those caused by B. garinii and B. burgdorferi infection. All 46 patients lived in Russia and had influenza-like illness with fever as high as 39.5°C; relapsing febrile illness occurred in 5 (11%) and erythema migrans in 4 (9%). In Russia, the rate of B. miyamotoi infection in Ixodes persulcatus ticks was 1%-16%, similar to rates in I. ricinus ticks in western Europe and I. scapularis ticks in the United States. B. miyamotoi infection may cause relapsing fever and Lyme disease-like symptoms throughout the Holarctic region of the world because of the widespread prevalence of this pathogen in its ixodid tick vectors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology
  • Borrelia / genetics
  • Borrelia / immunology
  • Borrelia / isolation & purification*
  • Doxycycline / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Recurrence
  • Relapsing Fever / diagnosis*
  • Relapsing Fever / drug therapy
  • Relapsing Fever / microbiology
  • Russia


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Doxycycline