Ixodes ricinus ticks (Acari: Ixodidae): vectors for Lyme disease spirochetes in Romania. Exp Appl Acarol

National Institute of Research-Development for Microbiology and Immunology Cantacuzino, 103 Splaiul Independenţei, 050096, Bucharest, Romania.
Experimental and Applied Acarology (Impact Factor: 1.62). 03/2011; 54(3):293-300. DOI: 10.1007/s10493-011-9438-4
Source: PubMed


In this study 1,868 questing Ixodes ricinus ticks (nymphs and adults), collected in six sites from three counties--Giurgiu, Sibiu, and Tulcea--in Romania, were examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by reverse line blot (RLB) for detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato presence. The bacteria were found in 18% of the investigated ticks. The prevalence of infection did not differ significantly between nymphs (19.1%) and adults (15.4%). Three B. burgdorferi s.l. genospecies were detected: B. afzelii (61.1%), B. garinii (31.2%), and B. valaisiana (7.7%). No mixed infections were detected. The highest infection prevalence in nymphs was detected at Cristian (Sibiu County)--22.0%, whereas in adults it was at Comana (Giurgiu County)--19.8%. This preliminary study provides evidence that Lyme disease spirochetes are present in various regions of Romania, and at a relatively high prevalence in their vectors, thus posing a risk of infection to human subjects in the areas infested by ticks.

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    • "Correlating our findings with the model proposed by Estrada-Peña et al. (2011), we confirm that B. afzelii and B. garinii are the dominant species. Several other studies have demonstrated the presence of B. afzelii as the most common genospecies in southeastern Europe: Slovenia (Picken et al., 1996), Hungary (Rigó et al., 2011), and Romania (Coipan and Vladimirescu, 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: The paper reports the prevalence and geographical distribution of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) and its genospecies in 12,221 questing Ixodes ricinus ticks collected at 183 locations from all the 41 counties of Romania. The unfed ticks were examined for the presence of B. burgdorferi s.l. by PCR targeting the intergenic spacer 5S–23S. Reverse line blot hybridization (RLB) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis were performed for identification of B. burgdorferi genospecies. The overall prevalence of infection was 1.4%, with an average local prevalence between 0.75% and 18.8%. B. burgdorferi s.l. was found in ticks of 55 of the 183 localities. The overall prevalence B. burgdorferi s.l. in ticks in the infected localities was 3.8%. The total infection prevalence was higher in female ticks than in other developmental stages. Three Borrelia genospecies were detected. The most widely distributed genospecies was B. afzelii, followed by B. garinii and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.). The study is the first countrywide study and the first report of B. burgdorferi s.s. in Romania. The distribution maps show that higher prevalences were recorded in hilly areas, but Lyme borreliosis spirochetes were also present in forested lowlands, albeit with a lower prevalence.
    Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 07/2013; 4(5):403-408. DOI:10.1016/j.ttbdis.2013.04.007 · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    • "Members of the B. burgdorferi s. l. group (B. afzelii, Borrelia garinii, and Borrelia valaisiana) in Romanian questing I. ricinus ticks have been recently reported with infection levels up to 18% (Coipan and Vladimirescu, 2011). Our study confirms the presence of B. afzelii, a rodent associated species linked to Lyme borreliosis with skin manifestations (Grange et al., 2002), in I. ricinus ticks in Romania and additionally adds new geographic areas to the previous findings. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to provide a preliminary insight into the diversity of tick-borne pathogens circulating at the domestic host-tick interface in Romania. For this, feeding and questing ticks were analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Anaplasma platys, Ehrlichia canis, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu latu, and by PCR and subsequent sequencing for Rickettsia spp., Babesia spp. and Theileria spp. A total of 382 ticks, encompassing 5 species from 4 genera, were collected in April-July 2010 from different areas of Romania; of them, 40 were questing ticks and the remainder was collected from naturally infested cattle, sheep, goats, horses or dogs. Tick species analyzed included Ixodes ricinus, Dermacentor marginatus, Hyalomma marginatum, Rhipicephalus bursa, and Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Four rickettsiae of the spotted fever group of zoonotic concern were identified for the first time in Romania: Rickettsia monacensis and Rickettsia helvetica in I. ricinus, and Rickettsia slovaca and Rickettsia raoultii in D. marginatus. Other zoonotic pathogens such as A. phagocytophilum, Borrelia afzelii, and Babesia microti were found in I. ricinus. Pathogens of veterinary importance were also identified, including Theileria equi in H. marginatum, Babesia occultans in D. marginatus and H. marginatum, Theileria orientalis/sergenti/buffeli-group in I. ricinus and in H. marginatum and E. canis in R. sanguineus. These findings show a wide distribution of very diverse bacterial and protozoan pathogens at the domestic host-tick interface in Romania, with the potential of causing both animal and human diseases.
    Veterinary Parasitology 01/2013; 196(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.vetpar.2013.01.016 · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    • "The only exhaustive review on the distribution of ticks (including I. ricinus) in Romania was published more than 45 years ago (Feider 1965). Since then, most of the published studies deal with its vectorial capacity (Majláthová et al. 2008; Coipan and Vladimirescu 2010, 2011) or its occurrence on domestic animals (Ionit¸a ˘ 2003; Chit¸imia 2006) or humans (Briciu et al. 2011). The current paper reports the structure of questing tick communities in forested habitats in Romania, based on a countrywide dragging campaign. "
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    ABSTRACT: In 2010 and 2011, questing ticks were collected from 188 forested locations in all the 41 counties of Romania using the dragging method. The total of 13,771 ticks collected belonged to eleven species: Ixodes ricinus (86.9 %), Dermacentor marginatus (9.5 %), Haemaphysalis punctata (2.6 %), H. concinna (0.6 %), H. sulcata (0.3 %), H. parva (0.1 %), Hyalomma marginatum (0.02 %), D. reticulatus (0.02 %), I. crenulatus (0.007 %), I. hexagonus (0.007 %) and I. laguri (0.007 %). Ixodes ricinus was present in 97.7 % (n = 180) of locations, occurring exclusively in 41.7 % of the locations, whereas it was the dominant species in 38.8 % of the other locations, accounting for over 70 % of the total tick community. The following most common questing ticks were D. marginatus, H. punctata and H. concinna. Ixodes ricinus co-occurred with one, two or three sympatric species. The occurrence of D. reticulatus in forested habitats from Romania was found to be accidental.
    Experimental and Applied Acarology 05/2012; 58(2):175-82. DOI:10.1007/s10493-012-9568-3 · 1.62 Impact Factor
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