Parasitology Research

, Volume 84, Issue 3, pp 167–172 | Cite as

Prevalence rates of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in host-seeking Ixodes ricinus ticks in Europe

  • Zdeněk Hubálek
  • Jiří Halouzka
REVIEW ARTICLE

Abstract

Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato spirochetes have been found in all examined Ixodes ricinus (L.) populations in Europe. The overall mean proportions of unfed I. ricinus infected with B. burgdorferi s.l. were 1.9% (range 0–11%), 10.8% (2–43%) and 17.4% (3–58%) for larvae (n = 5699), nymphs (n = 48 804) and adults (n = 41 666), respectively. However, the results varied according to the method used. Cultivation in BSK medium is the least sensitive technique (an average of 11% adult ticks found infected), whereas polymerase chain reaction detecting spirochetal DNA is probably the most sensitive method (29% adults found infected). Microscopic methods (dark field, phase contrast, direct or indirect fluorescence) are generally comparable to each other (17–20% adults found infected) and should be regarded as standard procedures because they also make possible a quantitative estimation of spirochetes in the vector. Some technical problems of these methods are discussed.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zdeněk Hubálek
    • 1
  • Jiří Halouzka
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Landscape Ecology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Klášterní 2, CZ-69142 Valtice, Czech Republic Tel.: +420-627-352961 Fax: +420-627-352387; e-mail: zhubalek@brno.cas.cz

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