Saturday, March 30, 2019

Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato) in ectoparasites and reptiles in southern Italy.

Parasit Vectors. 2019 Jan 15;12(1):35. doi: 10.1186/s13071-019-3286-1.

Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato) in ectoparasites and reptiles in southern Italy.

Mendoza-Roldan JA1,2,3, Colella V1, Lia RP1, Nguyen VL1, Barros-Battesti DM2,4, Iatta R1, Dantas-Torres F1,5, Otranto D6.

Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato) is a complex containing pathogenic bacteria of which some species, such as Borrelia lusitaniae, use birds, small mammals and reptiles as reservoirs. In Italy, the bacteria have been detected in reptilian and avian reservoirs in the northern and central regions.

Here, 211 reptiles from three orders [Squamata (Sauria with seven species in five families and Ophidia with 11 species in three families), Crocodylia (one family and two species), and Testudines (two families and two species)] were examined for ectoparasites and molecular detection of B. burgdorferi (s.l.) in three different sites of southern Italy, an area for which no information was previously available on the occurrence of borreliosis in animals and humans. Borrelia lusitaniae was molecularly detected in larvae and nymphs (11.6%) of Ixodes ricinus infesting lizards (i.e. Podarcis muralis, Podarcis siculus and Lacerta bilineata) and in 12.3% blood samples of P. siculus. Finally, B. lusitaniae and Borrelia garinii were detected in 5.1% (32/630) of questing I. ricinus.

These results show the circulation of B. lusitaniae in southern Italy and suggest that P. siculus could play a role as a reservoir, representing a potential medical threat to humans living in or visiting these localities.

Borrelia garinii; Borrelia lusitaniae; Ectoparasites; Ixodes ricinus; Podarcis siculus; Reptiles

PMID: 30646928 PMCID: PMC6332633 DOI: 10.1186/s13071-019-3286-1
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