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The evolutionary ecology of many emerging infectious diseases, particularly vector-borne zoonoses, is poorly understood. Here, we aim to develop a biological, process-based framework for vector-borne zoonoses, using Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis in humans, as an example. We explore the fundamental biological(More)
During the spring in 2005 and 2006, 39,095 northward-migrating land birds were captured at 12 bird observatories in eastern Canada to investigate the role of migratory birds in northward range expansion of Lyme borreliosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, and their tick vector, Ixodes scapularis. The prevalence of birds carrying I. scapularis ticks (mostly(More)
Lyme borreliosis, caused by the tick-borne bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, has become the most common vector-borne disease in North America over the last three decades. To understand the dynamics of the epizootic spread and to predict the evolutionary trajectories of B. burgdorferi, accurate information on the population structure and the evolutionary(More)
Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) is maintained in nature by complex zoonotic transmission cycles, involving a large variety of vertebrates as hosts and hard ticks of the genus Ixodes as vectors. Recent studies suggest that the genospecies of B. burgdorferi s.l. and sometimes their subtypes are propagated by different spectra of hosts, mainly birds and(More)
In Europe, 6 of the 11 genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato are prevalent in questing Ixodes ricinus ticks. In most parts of Central Europe, B. afzelii, B. garinii, and B. valaisiana are the most frequent species, whereas B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. bissettii, and B. lusitaniae are rare. Previously, it has been shown that B. afzelii is(More)
BACKGROUND Erythema migrans is the most common manifestation of Lyme disease. Recurrences are not uncommon, and although they are usually attributed to reinfection rather than relapse of the original infection, this remains somewhat controversial. We used molecular typing of Borrelia burgdorferi isolates obtained from patients with culture-confirmed(More)
Blackbirds (Turdus merula) and song thrushes (Turdus philomelos) were found to carry 95% of all spirochete-infected tick larvae among 40 bird species captured in Central Europe. More than 90% of the infections were typed as Borrelia garinii and Borrelia valaisiana. We conclude that thrushes are key players in the maintenance of these spirochete species in(More)
BACKGROUND Lyme disease, the most common tickborne disease in the United States, is caused exclusively by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto in North America. The present study evaluated the genotypes of >400 clinical isolates of B. burgdorferi recovered from patients from suburban New York City with early Lyme disease associated with erythema migrans; it(More)
The genetic diversity of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato was assessed in individual adult Ixodes ricinus ticks from Europe by direct PCR amplification of spirochetal DNA followed by genospecies-specific hybridization. Analysis of mixed infections in the ticks showed that B. garinii and B. valaisiana segregate from B. afzelii. This and previous findings(More)
We examined the degree of host specialization of different strains of Borrelia burgdorferi, the tickborne pathogen that causes Lyme borreliosis in the northeastern United States. We first assessed the genetic population structures of B. burgdorferi in ticks obtained from different mammalian host species and in questing ticks sampled in a woodland ecosystem(More)