Browsing by Subject "BURGDORFERI SENSU-LATO"

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  • Laaksonen, Maija; Sajanti, Eeva; Sormunen, Jani J.; Penttinen, Ritva; Hanninen, Jari; Ruohomaki, Kai; Saaksjarvi, Ilari; Vesterinen, Eero J.; Vuorinen, Ilppo; Hytonen, Jukka; Klemola, Tero (2017)
    A national crowdsourcing-based tick collection campaign was organized in 2015 with the objective of producing novel data on tick distribution and tick-borne pathogens in Finland. Nearly 20 000 Ixodes ticks were collected. The collected material revealed the nationwide distribution of I. persulcatus for the first time and a shift northwards in the distribution of I. ricinus in Finland. A subset of 2038 tick samples containing both species was screened for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (the prevalence was 14.2% for I. ricinus and 19.8% for I. persulcatus), B. miyamotoi (0.2% and 0.4%, respectively) and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV; 0.2% and 3.0%, respectively). We also report new risk areas for TBEV in Finland and, for the first time, the presence of B. miyamotoi in ticks from mainland Finland. Most importantly, our study demonstrates the overwhelming power of citizen science in accomplishing a collection effort that would have been impossible with the scientific community alone.
  • Sormunen, Jani Jukka; Kulha, Niko; Klemola, Tero; Makela, Satu; Vesilahti, Ella-Maria; Vesterinen, Eero Juhani (2020)
    Most tick-related studies in Europe have been conducted in nonurban areas, but ticks and tick-borne pathogens also occur in urban green spaces. From a public health perspective, risks regarding tick-borne infections should be studied in these urban areas, where contacts between infected ticks and humans may be more frequent than elsewhere, due to high human activity. We examined the risk of encountering an infected tick in urban green spaces in Helsinki, Finland. We collected ticks at nine sites throughout Helsinki, recorded the prevalence of several pathogens and identified areas with a high potential for contacts between infected ticks and humans. Moreover, we explored the relationship between the density ofBorrelia burgdorferisensu lato-infected ticks and locally diagnosed cases of borreliosis and compared the potential for human-tick encounters in Helsinki to those in nonurban areas in south-western Finland. During 34.8 km of cloth dragging, 2,417Ixodes ricinuswere caught (402 adults, 1,399 nymphs and 616 larvae). From analysed nymphs, we found 11 distinct tick-borne pathogens, with 31.5% of nymphs carrying at least one pathogen. Tick activity was highest in August and September, leading to the density of nymphs infected withB. burgdorferis.l., and concurrently infection risk, to also be highest during this time. Nymph densities varied between the sampling sites, with obvious implications to spatial variation in infection risk. While ticks and tick-borne pathogens were found in both Helsinki and nonurban areas in south-western Finland, the estimates of human activity were generally higher in urban green spaces, leading to a higher potential for human-tick contacts therein. The presence of ticks and tick-borne pathogens and high local human activity in urban green spaces suggest that they form potential foci regarding the acquisition of tick-borne infections. Risk areas within cities should be identified and knowledge regarding urban ticks increased.
  • Becker, Noémie S.; Rollins, Robert E.; Nosenko, Kateryna; Paulus, Alexander; Martin, Samantha; Krebs, Stefan; Takano, Ai; Sato, Kozue; Kovalev, Sergey Y.; Kawabata, Hiroki; Fingerle, Volker; Margos, Gabriele (2020)
    BackgroundBorrelia bavariensis is one of the agents of Lyme Borreliosis (or Lyme disease) in Eurasia. The genome of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato species complex, that includes B. bavariensis, is known to be very complex and fragmented making the assembly of whole genomes with next-generation sequencing data a challenge.ResultsWe present a genome reconstruction for 33 B. bavariensis isolates from Eurasia based on long-read (Pacific Bioscience, for three isolates) and short-read (Illumina) data. We show that the combination of both sequencing techniques allows proper genome reconstruction of all plasmids in most cases but use of a very close reference is necessary when only short-read sequencing data is available. B. bavariensis genomes combine a high degree of genetic conservation with high plasticity: all isolates share the main chromosome and five plasmids, but the repertoire of other plasmids is highly variable. In addition to plasmid losses and gains through horizontal transfer, we also observe several fusions between plasmids. Although European isolates of B. bavariensis have little diversity in genome content, there is some geographic structure to this variation. In contrast, each Asian isolate has a unique plasmid repertoire and we observe no geographically based differences between Japanese and Russian isolates. Comparing the genomes of Asian and European populations of B. bavariensis suggests that some genes which are markedly different between the two populations may be good candidates for adaptation to the tick vector, (Ixodes ricinus in Europe and I. persulcatus in Asia).ConclusionsWe present the characterization of genomes of a large sample of B. bavariensis isolates and show that their plasmid content is highly variable. This study opens the way for genomic studies seeking to understand host and vector adaptation as well as human pathogenicity in Eurasian Lyme Borreliosis agents.
  • Norte, Ana Claudia; Margos, Gabriele; Becker, Noemie S.; Ramos, Jaime Albino; Nuncio, Maria Sofia; Fingerle, Volker; Araujo, Pedro Miguel; Adamik, Peter; Alivizatos, Haralambos; Barba, Emilio; Barrientos, Rafael; Cauchard, Laure; Csorgo, Tibor; Diakou, Anastasia; Dingemanse, Niels J.; Doligez, Blandine; Dubiec, Anna; Eeva, Tapio; Flaisz, Barbara; Grim, Tomas; Hau, Michaela; Heylen, Dieter; Hornok, Sandor; Kazantzidis, Savas; Kovats, David; Krause, Frantisek; Literak, Ivan; Mand, Raivo; Mentesana, Lucia; Morinay, Jennifer; Mutanen, Marko; Neto, Julio Manuel; Novakova, Marketa; Sanz, Juan Jose; da Silva, Luis Pascoal; Sprong, Hein; Tirri, Ina-Sabrina; Török, Janos; Trilar, Tomi; Tyller, Zdenek; Visser, Marcel E.; de Carvalho, Isabel Lopes (2020)
    Birds are hosts for several zoonotic pathogens. Because of their high mobility, especially of longdistance migrants, birds can disperse these pathogens, affecting their distribution and phylogeography. We focused on Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, which includes the causative agents of Lyme borreliosis, as an example for tick-borne pathogens, to address the role of birds as propagation hosts of zoonotic agents at a large geographical scale. We collected ticks from passerine birds in 11 European countries. B. burgdorferi s.l. prevalence in Ixodes spp. was 37% and increased with latitude. The fieldfare Turdus pilaris and the blackbird T. merula carried ticks with the highest Borrelia prevalence (92 and 58%, respectively), whereas robin Erithacus rubecula ticks were the least infected (3.8%). Borrelia garinii was the most prevalent genospecies (61%), followed by B. valaisiana (24%), B. afzelii (9%), B. turdi (5%) and B. lusitaniae (0.5%). A novel Borrelia genospecies "Candidatus Borrelia aligera" was also detected. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis of B. garinii isolates together with the global collection of B. garinii genotypes obtained from the Borrelia MLST public database revealed that: (a) there was little overlap among genotypes from different continents, (b) there was no geographical structuring within Europe, and (c) there was no evident association pattern detectable among B. garinii genotypes from ticks feeding on birds, questing ticks or human isolates. These findings strengthen the hypothesis that the population structure and evolutionary biology of tick-borne pathogens are shaped by their host associations and the movement patterns of these hosts.
  • Sormunen, Jani J.; Andersson, Tommi; Aspi, Jouni; Back, Jaana; Cederberg, Tony; Haavisto, Noora; Halonen, Hanna; Hanninen, Jari; Inkinen, Jasmin; Kulha, Niko; Laaksonen, Maija; Loehr, John; Makela, Satu; Makinen, Katja; Norkko, Joanna; Paavola, Riku; Pajala, Pauliina; Petaja, Tuukka; Puisto, Anna; Sippola, Ella; Snickars, Martin; Sundell, Janne; Tanski, Niko; Uotila, Antti; Vesilahti, Ella-Maria; Vesterinen, Eero J.; Vuorenmaa, Silja; Ylonen, Hannu; Ylonen, Jari; Klemola, Tero (2020)
    In 2015 a long-term, nationwide tick and tick-borne pathogen (TBP) monitoring project was started by the Finnish Tick Project and the Finnish Research Station network (RESTAT), with the goal of producing temporally and geographically extensive data regarding exophilic ticks in Finland. In the current study, we present results from the first four years of this collaboration. Ticks were collected by cloth dragging from 11 research stations across Finland in May September 2015-2018 (2012-2018 in Seili). Collected ticks were screened for twelve different pathogens by qPCR: Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, Borrelia valaisiana, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, Borrelia miyamotoi, Babesia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia spp., Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis, Francisella tularensis, Bartonella spp. and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). Altogether 15 067 Ixodes ricinus and 46 Ixodes persulcatus were collected during 68 km of dragging. Field collections revealed different seasonal activity patterns for the two species. The activity of I. persulcatus adults (only one nymph detected) was unimodal, with activity only in May July, whereas Ixodes ricinus was active from May to September, with activity peaks in September (nymphs) or July August (adults). Overall, tick densities were higher during the latter years of the study. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato were the most common pathogens detected, with 48.9 +/- 8.4% (95% Cl) of adults and 25.3 +/- 4.4% of nymphs carrying the bacteria. No samples positive for F. tularensis, Bartonella or TBEV were detected. This collaboration project involving the extensive Finnish Research Station network has ensured enduring and spatially extensive, long-term tick data collection to the foreseeable future.
  • Uusitalo, Ruut; Siljander, Mika; Linden, Andreas; Sormunen, Jani J.; Aalto, Juha; Hendrickx, Guy; Kallio, Eva; Vajda, Andrea; Gregow, Hilppa; Henttonen, Heikki; Marsboom, Cedric; Korhonen, Essi M.; Sironen, Tarja; Pellikka, Petri; Vapalahti, Olli (2022)
    Background Ticks are responsible for transmitting several notable pathogens worldwide. Finland lies in a zone where two human-biting tick species co-occur: Ixodesricinus and Ixodespersulcatus. Tick densities have increased in boreal regions worldwide during past decades, and tick-borne pathogens have been identified as one of the major threats to public health in the face of climate change. Methods We used species distribution modelling techniques to predict the distributions of I.ricinus and I.persulcatus, using aggregated historical data from 2014 to 2020 and new tick occurrence data from 2021. By aiming to fill the gaps in tick occurrence data, we created a new sampling strategy across Finland. We also screened for tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) and Borrelia from the newly collected ticks. Climate, land use and vegetation data, and population densities of the tick hosts were used in various combinations on four data sets to estimate tick species' distributions across mainland Finland with a 1-km resolution. Results In the 2021 survey, 89 new locations were sampled of which 25 new presences and 63 absences were found for I.ricinus and one new presence and 88 absences for I.persulcatus. A total of 502 ticks were collected and analysed; no ticks were positive for TBEV, while 56 (47%) of the 120 pools, including adult, nymph, and larva pools, were positive for Borrelia (minimum infection rate 11.2%, respectively). Our prediction results demonstrate that two combined predictor data sets based on ensemble mean models yielded the highest predictive accuracy for both I.ricinus (AUC = 0.91, 0.94) and I.persulcatus (AUC = 0.93, 0.96). The suitable habitats for I.ricinus were determined by higher relative humidity, air temperature, precipitation sum, and middle-infrared reflectance levels and higher densities of white-tailed deer, European hare, and red fox. For I.persulcatus, locations with greater precipitation and air temperature and higher white-tailed deer, roe deer, and mountain hare densities were associated with higher occurrence probabilities. Suitable habitats for I.ricinus ranged from southern Finland up to Central Ostrobothnia and North Karelia, excluding areas in Ostrobothnia and Pirkanmaa. For I.persulcatus, suitable areas were located along the western coast from Ostrobothnia to southern Lapland, in North Karelia, North Savo, Kainuu, and areas in Pirkanmaa and Paijat-Hame. Conclusions This is the first study conducted in Finland that estimates potential tick species distributions using environmental and host data. Our results can be utilized in vector control strategies, as supporting material in recommendations issued by public health authorities, and as predictor data for modelling the risk for tick-borne diseases.
  • Vera, Cristina Perez; Kapiainen, Suvi; Junnikkala, Sami; Aaltonen, Kirsi; Spillmann, Thomas; Vapalahti, Olli (2014)
  • Laaksonen, Maija; Klemola, Tero; Feuth, Eeva; Sormunen, Jani J.; Puisto, Anna; Mäkelä, Satu; Penttinen, Ritva; Ruohomäki, Kai; Hänninen, Jari; Sääksjärvi, Ilari E.; Vuorinen, Ilppo; Sprong, Hein; Hytönen, Jukka; Vesterinen, Eero J. (2018)
    BackgroundAlmost 3500 tick samples, originally collected via a nationwide citizen science campaign in 2015, were screened to reveal the prevalence and distribution of a wide spectrum of established and putative tick-borne pathogens vectored by Ixodes ricinus and I. persulcatus in Finland. The unique geographical distribution of these two tick species in Finland allowed us to compare pathogen occurrence between an I. ricinus-dominated area (southern Finland), an I. persulcatus-dominated area (northern Finland), and a sympatric area (central Finland).ResultsOf the analysed ticks, almost 30% carried at least one pathogen and 2% carried more than one pathogen. A higher overall prevalence of tick-borne pathogens was observed in I. ricinus than in I. persulcatus: 30.0% (604/2014) versus 24.0% (348/1451), respectively. In addition, I. ricinus were more frequently co-infected than I. persulcatus: 2.4% (49/2014) versus 0.8% (12/1451), respectively. Causative agents of Lyme borreliosis, i.e. bacterial genospecies in Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato) group, were the most prevalent pathogens (overall 17%). Candidatus Rickettsia tarasevichiae was found for the first time in I. ricinus ticks and in Finnish ticks in general. Moreover, Babesia divergens, B. venatorum and Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis were reported for the first time from the Finnish mainland.ConclusionsThe present study provides valuable information on the prevalence and geographical distribution of various tick-borne pathogens in I. ricinus and I. persulcatus ticks in Finland. Moreover, this comprehensive subset of ticks revealed the presence of rare and potentially dangerous pathogens. The highest prevalence of infected ticks was in the I. ricinus-dominated area in southern Finland, while the prevalence was essentially equal in sympatric and I. persulcatus-dominated areas. However, the highest infection rates for both species were in areas of their dominance, either in south or north Finland.