The prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi infection, and co-infections with other Borrelia spp. in Ixodes scapularis ticks collected in Canada

Antonia Dibernardo, Tyler Cote, Nicholas H Ogden and L Robbin Lindsay

Published: 15 April 2014

Abstract (provisional)

Background

Blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis are vectors of the tick-borne pathogens Borrelia  burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia microti. Recently, the I. scapularis-borne   bacterium Borrelia miyamotoi has been linked to human illness in North America. The range of this tick is expanding in Canada which may increase the potential for human  exposure to these agents.

Methods

In this study, 4938 I. scapularis ticks collected in 2012 were tested following a newly developed PCR-based testing protocol to determine the prevalence of infection with B. miyamotoi and other pathogens in I. scapularis in Canada.

Results

Borrelia miyamotoi was detected in blacklegged ticks from all provinces except Newfoundland, although the infection prevalence was low (<1%). There was significant variation among   provinces in the prevalence of infection of ticks with B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum, but not with B. miyamotoi.

Conclusions

Given the widespread distribution of B. miyamotoi, infection due to this agent should be considered in patients who have been exposed to blacklegged ticks in Canada.

The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.

2 Comments

  • Michelle says:

    Hi my name is Michelle and I was diagnosed with B. Mayomotoi and was put on doxy’s which I was allergic to, but the doctor told me to keep trying to take it. Eventually we agreed to stop taking it because the side effects were making things worse. However 2weeks ago, my granddaughter who lives me and is always somewhere close to me was diagnosed with the same thing. She is also having horrible side effects.
    The doctor told us that she was treating us for Lyme disease but she is positive that its Mayomotoi. (This whole time they have been asking me if I had been out of the country, which I haven’t but completely forgot to mention that my daughters boyfriend came down from Canada quite often and staying in my house for weeks at a time. So maybe he brought those ticks?) She didn’t know anything about it and I don’t think that she wanted to take on the responsibilities .
    I know that there isn’t much about this disease yet but I’m pretty sure that it can be contagious. So during your research could you explore that? Please don’t come right out and say that” no it is contagious ” if you don’t have proof. Especially since no one really knows much about it all.
    Thank you
    Michelle