Borrelia miyamotoi: a widespread tick-borne relapsing fever spirochete

Trends Parasitol. 2015 Jun;31(6):260-9. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2015 Apr 16.


Borrelia miyamotoi is a relapsing fever spirochete that has only recently been identified as a human pathogen. Borrelia miyamotoi is genetically and ecologically distinct from Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, while both are present in Ixodes ticks. Over 50 patients with an acute febrile illness have been described with a B. miyamotoi infection, and two infected immunocompromised patients developed a meningoencephalitis. Seroprevalence studies indicate exposure in the general population and in specific risk groups, such as patients initially suspected of having human granulocytic anaplasmosis. Here, we review the available literature on B. miyamotoi, describing its presence in ticks, reservoir hosts, and humans, and discussing its potential impact on public health.

Keywords: Borrelia miyamotoi; Ixodes; tick-borne relapsing fever.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachnid Vectors / parasitology
  • Borrelia / physiology*
  • Borrelia Infections / diagnosis
  • Borrelia Infections / epidemiology
  • Borrelia Infections / pathology
  • Borrelia Infections / prevention & control
  • Borrelia Infections / transmission*
  • Disease Reservoirs
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Ixodes / parasitology*
  • Relapsing Fever / diagnosis
  • Relapsing Fever / epidemiology
  • Relapsing Fever / prevention & control
  • Relapsing Fever / transmission