Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Ixodes ricinus ticks (Acari, Ixodidae) in different Polish woodlands.
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Department of Tropical Parasitology, Gdynia, Poland
Department of Microbiology, Institute of Maritime and Tropical Medicine, Gdynia, Poland
Corresponding author
Joanna Stańczak   

Department of Tropical Parasitology Institute of Maritime and Tropical Medicine, Powstania Styczniowego 9B, 81-519 Gdynia, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 1999;6(2):127-132
In 1996-1998, a total of 2285 Ixodes ricinus ticks (1063 nymphs, 637 males, 585 females) were collected from vegetation from 25 different localities in the 8 Polish provinces throughout the country. Ticks inhabited all 25 collection sites. The average number of ticks per collection site was 91.4 +/- 13.7. All 2285 ticks were examined for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) presence, of which 1333 specimens from 3 provinces were tested by routine indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) using polyclonal antibody PAB 1B29. The remaining 952 specimens from 5 provinces were examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), using FL6 and FL7 primers. The overall infection rate in ticks estimated by these 2 methods was 10. 2%. Nymphs showed lower positivity rate (6.2%) as compared to adult ticks (14.9% in females and 12.4% in males). The highest percentage of infected I. ricinus ticks (37.5%) was noted in the Katowice province while the lowest (4.1%) in the Bia ystok province. In particular collection sites, infection rates varied from 0-37.5%. The obtained results confirmed that B. burgdorferi s.l. is present throughout the distributional areas of I. ricinus in Poland and that a prevalence of spirochete-infected ticks may be high in some locations.
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