Article

European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 53-56

First online:

High prevalence of Borrelia lusitaniae in Ixodes ricinus ticks in Tunisia

  • Hend YounsiAffiliated withLaboratoire d'Entomologie Médicale, Institut Pasteur
  • , Danièle PosticAffiliated withUnité de Bactériologie Moléculaire et Médicale, Institut Pasteur
  • , Guy BarantonAffiliated withUnité de Bactériologie Moléculaire et Médicale, Institut Pasteur
  • , Ali BouattourAffiliated withLaboratoire d'Entomologie Médicale, Institut Pasteur

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

To investigate whether ticks of the genus Ixodes are infected by Borrelia burgdorferi complex, 490 unfed Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected by flagging in three different areas of Tunisia in 1998. DNAs extracted from 81 adults, 60 nymphs and 38 larvae were analysed after genic amplification of the noncoding spacer between the two copies of the rrl–rrf genes of B. burgdorferi sl. The prevalence of B. burgdorferi sl. in adults, nymphs and larvae was found to be 34, 33.3 and 2.6%, respectively. All DNAs (n = 61) but one were identified as belonging to different genotypes of B. lusitaniae by analysis of the restriction fragment length polymorphism of amplification products. In addition, 290 adults, 14 nymphs and 7 larvae were used to inoculate BSK-H medium to isolate spirochetes. Fifteen strains were isolated from adult ticks in the humid areas of Tunisia, whereas only one was obtained from larvae. Isolates were identified as B. lusitaniae (15/16) and B. garinii (1/16). These results provide new evidence for the existence of Lyme borreliosis in North Africa.

Borrelia lusitaniae Infection rate Ixodes ricinus Ticks Tunisia