Spiroplasma ixodetis Infections in Immunocompetent and Immunosuppressed Patients after Tick Exposure, Sweden

“Spiroplasma spp. are intracellular organisms that belong to the class Mollicutes, which include Mycoplasma spp. These bacteria have a single-layer cell membrane, cannot be visualized by Gram staining, require special substrates for growth, and can be diagnosed by genetic methods (6). Plants, insects, and ticks are known reservoirs (7). S. ixodetis was initially reported in Ixodes pacificus ticks from Oregon, USA (8), and has since been detected in many arthropod species, including Ixodes ricinus ticks in several countries in Europe, but not yet in Sweden (9,10). We report S. ixodetis infections in an immunocompetent patient and an immunocompromised patient after tick exposure in Sweden.”


We report 2 cases of Spiroplasma ixodetis infection in an immunocompetent patient and an immunocompromised patient who had frequent tick exposure. Fever, thrombocytopenia, and increased liver aminotransferase levels raised the suspicion of anaplasmosis, but 16S rRNA PCR and Sanger sequencing yielded a diagnosis of spiroplasmosis. Both patients recovered after doxycycline treatment.

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