Occurrence of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato in Ixodes ricinus Ticks with First Identification of Borrelia miyamotoi in Vojvodina, Serbia

Aleksandar Potkonjak*, Gabriela Kleinerman, Ricardo Gutiérrez, Sara Savić, Vuk Vračar, Yaarit Nachum-Biala, Aleksandar Jurišić, Alicia Rojas, Aleksandra Petrović, Ivana Ivanović, Shimon Harrus, Gad Baneth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Lyme borreliosis is the most common tick-borne infectious disease in Eurasia. Borrelia miyamotoi is the only known relapsing fever Borrelia group spirochete transmitted by Ixodes species. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of Lyme Borrelia spp. and relapsing fever Borrelia spp. in Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from dogs and the vegetation from different parts of Vojvodina, Serbia. A total of 71 Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected and screened for the presence of Lyme Borrelia spp. group and relapsing fever Borrelia spp. by real-time PCR for the Borrelia flagellin B (flaB) gene followed by DNA sequencing of PCR products. Species identification was verified by PCR of the outer surface protein A (ospA) gene for Lyme Disease Borrelia spp. and by PCR of the glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase (glpQ) gene for relapsing fever Borrelia spp. Lyme Borrelia spp. were found in 15/71 (21.13%) of the ticks evaluated and included B. luisitaniae (11.3%), B. afzelii (7%), B. valaisiana (1.4%), and B. garinii (1.4%). Borrelia miyamotoi, from the relapsing fever Borrelia complex, was found, for the first time in Serbia, in one (1.4%) nymph collected from the environment. Co-infections between Borrelia species in ticks were not detected. These results suggest that the dominance of species within B. burgdorferi s.l. complex in I. ricinus ticks may vary over time and in different geographic regions. Further systematic studies of Borrelia species in vectors and reservoir hosts are needed to understand eco-epidemiology of these zoonotic infections and how to prevent human infection in the best way.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)631-635
Number of pages5
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2016, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2016.


  • Borrelia
  • Borrelia miyamotoi
  • Serbia
  • real-time PCR
  • ticks


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