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Prevalence and Geographic Distribution of Borrelia miyamotoi in Host-Seeking Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) Nymphs in Mendocino County, California
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  • Alternative Title:
    J Med Entomol
  • Description:
    Borrelia miyamotoi is an increasingly recognized human pathogen transmitted by Ixodes ticks in the Northern Hemisphere. In North America, infection prevalences of B. miyamotoi are characteristically low (<10%) in Ixodes scapularis (Say; Acari: Ixodidae) and Ixodes pacificus (Cooley & Kohls; Acari: Ixodidae), both of which readily bite humans. We tested 3,255 host-seeking I. pacificus nymphs collected in 2004 from 79 sites throughout Mendocino County in north-coastal California for presence of B. miyamotoi. The collection sites represented a variety of forest types ranging from hot, dry oak woodlands in the southeast, to coastal redwoods in the west, and Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir-dominated areas in the northern part of the county. We found that B. miyamotoi was geographically widespread, but infected I. pacificus nymphs infrequently (cumulative prevalence of 1.4%). Infection prevalence was not significantly associated with geographic region or woodland type, and neither density of host-seeking nymphs, nor infection with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto was associated with B. miyamotoi infection status in individual ticks. Because B. burgdorferi prevalence at the same sites was previously associated with woodland type and nymphal density, our results suggest that despite sharing a common vector, the primary modes of enzootic maintenance for the two pathogens are likely different.
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