Detection of Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, including three novel genotypes in ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) collected from songbirds (Passeriformes) across Canada

Journal of Vector Ecology June 2010

The source of sporadic Lyme disease (Lyme borreliosis) across Canada has been a mystery. Several tenets abound about the origin of this bacterial illness, but science is often lacking. The Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.), has been found in established populations of vector ticks along the southern fringe of Canada; however, people contract this zoonosis hundreds of kilometers from these tick foci. In Ontario, the province reporting the highest incidence of human Lyme disease, 85% of locally acquired cases (2002-2006) had no exposure in an endemic area (MHLTC 2007). By and large, songbirds (Passeriformes) have been overlooked by the Canadian public in the epidemiology of Lyme disease.

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