Microb Ecol. 2010 Aug 14; [Epub ahead of print]
Associations Between Coinfection Prevalence of Borrelia
lusitaniae, Anaplasma sp., and Rickettsia sp. in Hard Ticks
Feeding on Reptile Hosts.
Vaclav R, Ficova M, Prokop P, Betakova T.
Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dubravska cesta
9, 84506, Bratislava, Slovakia, Radovan.Vaclav@savba.sk.
An increasing number of studies reveal that ticks and their hosts
are infected with multiple pathogens, suggesting that coinfection
might be frequent for both vectors and wild reservoir hosts.
Whereas the examination of associations between coinfecting
pathogen agents in natural host-vector-pathogen systems is a
prerequisite for a better understanding of disease maintenance
and transmission, the associations between pathogens within
vectors or hosts are seldom explicitly examined. We examined the
prevalence of pathogen agents and the patterns of associations
between them under natural conditions, using a previously
unexamined host-vector-pathogen system-green lizards Lacerta
viridis, hard ticks Ixodes ricinus, and Borrelia, Anaplasma, and
Rickettsia pathogens. We found that immature ticks infesting a
temperate lizard species in Central Europe were infected with
multiple pathogens. Considering I. ricinus nymphs and larvae, the
prevalence of Anaplasma, Borrelia, and Rickettsia was 13.1% and
8.7%, 12.8% and 1.3%, and 4.5% and 2.7%, respectively. The
patterns of pathogen prevalence and observed coinfection rates
suggest that the risk of tick infection with one pathogen is not
independent of other pathogens. Our results indicate that
Anaplasma can play a role in suppressing the transmission of
Borrelia to tick vectors. Overall, however, positive effects of
Borrelia on Anaplasma seem to prevail as judged by
higher-than-expected Borrelia-Anaplasma coinfection rates.
PMID: 20711724 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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