ORIGINAL ARTICLES

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Ann Agric Environ Med 2006, 13, 65-70

PRESENCE OF POTENTIALLY PATHOGENIC BABESIA SP. FOR HUMAN
IN IXODES RICINUS IN SWITZERLAND

Simona Casati1, Heinz Sager2, Lise Gern3, Jean-Claude Piffaretti1

1Istituto Cantonale di Microbiologia, Bellinzona, Switzerland
2Institute of Parasitology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
3Institut de Parasitologie, Universite de Neuchatel, Neuchatel, Switzerland

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Casati S, Sager H, Gern L, Piffaretti JC: Presence of potentially pathogenic Babesia sp. for human in Ixodes ricinus in Switzerland. Ann Agric Environ Med 2006, 13, 65-70.

Abstract: We have designed and performed a new PCR method based on the 18S rRNA in order to individuate the presence and the identity of Babesia parasites. Out of 1159 Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) ticks collected in four areas of Switzerland, nine were found to contain Babesia DNA. Sequencing of the short amplicon obtained (411-452 bp) allowed the identification of three human pathogenic species: Babesia microti, B. divergens, for the first time in Switzerland, Babesia sp. EU1. We also report coinfections with B. sp. EU1-Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Babesia sp. EU1-B. afzelii.

Address for correspondence: Jean-Claude Piffaretti, Istituto Cantonale di Microbiologia, Via Mirasole 22A, 6500 Bellinzona.
E-mail: jean-claude.piffaretti@ti.ch

Key words: Babesia microti, Babesia divergens, Babesia sp. EU1, Ixodes ricinus, Switzerland.


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