A total of 301 adult questing Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected at 15 different locations along the south and east coasts of Sweden to determine the Borrelia genospecies diversity. Thirty-two ticks (11%) were found to be positive by nested PCR with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato-specific primers. Species determination was based on partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and the flagellin gene. Five different Borrelia species were found. The nucleotide sequence of the Borrelia DNA found in two ticks differed extensively from the nucleotide sequences of the Borrelia DNA found in the other ticks, and analysis revealed that they were closely related to the relapsing fever borrelia species Borrelia miyamotoi. This is the first report of a B. miyamotoi-like borrelia in I. ricinus and in Europe. Moreover, the Borrelia DNA of two ticks (6%) clustered within the B. valaisiana complex. B. valaisiana has not previously been reported in Sweden. B. afzelii DNA was found in 14 ticks (44%), and B. garinii DNA was found in 10 ticks (31%). B. burgdorferi sensu stricto DNA was found in four ticks (13%). We conclude that all of the known human-pathogenic species (B. garinii, B. afzelii, and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto) and B. valaisiana found elsewhere in Europe are also present in the Swedish host-seeking tick population and that a B. miyamotoi-like Borrelia species seems to be present in I. ricinus ticks in Europe.
Bibliographical noteThe information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Community Medicine (013241810), Psychiatry/Primary Care/Public Health (013240500)
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Microbiology in the medical area