Borrelia burgdorferi genospecies detection by RLB hybridization in Ixodes cinus ticks from different sites of North-Eastern Poland
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Department of Infectious Diseases and Neuroinfections, Medical University, Białystok, Poland
Institute of Biology, Laboratory of Eco-Epidemiology of Parasites, University of Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2014;21(2):239-243
RLB (Reverse Line Blot Hybridization) is a molecular biology technique that might be used for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (sl) DNA detection with genospecies specification. Among B. burgdorferi sl genospecies at least 7 are regarded as pathogenic in Europe.

The aim of the study was to evaluate the frequency of different Borrelia genospecies DNA detection in Ixodes ricinus ticks in the endemic area of North-Eastern Poland by using RLB.

Material and Methods:
Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected in May – June, from 6 different sites in North-Eastern Poland (Jakubin, Kolno, Grajewo, Suwałki, Siemiatycze, Białowieża) by flagging. Extracted DNA was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the intergenic spacer 5S 23S of B. burgdorferi sl. PCR products were hybridised to 15 different oligonucleotide probes for 9 different Borrelia genospecies (B. burgdorferi sl, B. burgdorferi ss, B. garinii, B. afzelii, B. valaisiana, B. lusitaniae, B. spielmanii, B. bissettii and B. relapsing fever-like spirochetes (B. myamotoi)) by RLB.

Borrelia genospecies DNA was detected in 205 Ixodes ricinus ticks. Among 14 infected with Borrelia ticks, 4 were identified as B. garinii and 10 as B. afzelii. Higher numbers of infected ticks were noticed in the eastern part of the research area, where large forest complexes dominate. Nymphs appeared to be the most frequently infected tick stage, which has an epidemiological meaning in the incidence of Lyme borreliosis.

The study demonstrated that RLB might be easily used in Borrelia DNA detection with genospecies-identification, and indicated the domination of B. afzelii and B. garinii in ticks from North-Eastern Poland.

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