Vector competence studies with hard ticks and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato spirochetes: A review
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Vector competence studies with hard ticks and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato spirochetes: A review

  • Published Date:

    December 14 2019

  • Source:
    Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 11(3):101359
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-473.78 KB]


Details:
  • Alternative Title:
    Ticks Tick Borne Dis
  • Personal Author:
  • Description:
    Use of emerging technology allowing for identification of genetic material from pathogens and endosymbionts in ticks collected from humans, domestic animals, wildlife, or the environment has resulted in an avalanche of new data on tick-microorganism associations. This rapidly growing stream of new information is a tremendous resource but also presents challenges, including how detection of pathogen genetic material in ticks should best be interpreted. There is a tendency in the more recent published literature to incorrectly use the term "vector" based on detection of pathogen genetic material from tick species not experimentally confirmed to serve as vectors of the pathogen in question. To serve as a vector of a horizontally maintained pathogen, such as a Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) Lyme borreliosis spirochete, the tick species in question must be capable of acquiring the pathogen while feeding in the larval or nymphal stage on an infectious host, maintaining it transstadially through the molt, and then transmitting the pathogen to a naïve host while feeding in the subsequent nymphal or adult stage. This review examines the experimental evidence for and against species of hard (ixodid) ticks from different genera to serve as vectors of B. burgdorferi s.l. spirochetes. Of the 18 Ixodes species ticks evaluated to date, 13 were experimentally confirmed as vectors of B. burgdorferi s.l. spirochetes. These studies focused primarily on the three major Lyme borreliosis agents: Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia afzelii, and Borrelia garinii. In striking contrast, none of 8 tick species from other genera (1 Amblyomma species, 5 Dermacentor species, and 2 Haemaphysalis species) evaluated to date were unequivocally experimentally confirmed as vectors of B. burgdorferi s.l. spirochetes. The strength of the evidence for or against each tick species to serve as a vector of B. burgdorferi s.l. spirochetes is discussed together with key knowledge gaps and research challenges.
  • Pubmed ID:
    32067949
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC7127979
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