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German study finds Lyme in mosquitoes

Researchers have found the pathogens that cause Lyme disease in mosquitoes for the first time in central Europe.

Lyme disease or Lyme borreliosis is a vector-borne infectious disease caused by spirochetes of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex.

In the present study, adult as well as larval mosquitoes were collected at 42 different geographical locations throughout Germany.

This is the first study to analyze German mosquitoes for the presence of Borrelia spp.

The team found Borrelia DNA in ten Culicidae species of mosquito, comprising four distinct genera (Aedes, Culiseta, Culex, and Ochlerotatus).

Multi-stage transmission a possibility

Some stages of the borrelial transmission cycle in ticks (transstadial, feeding and co-feeding) can potentially occur also in insects, particularly in mosquitoes.

Positive samples also include adult specimens raised in the laboratory from wild-caught larvae indicating that transstadial and/or transovarial transmission might occur within a given mosquito population.

Transstadial transmission occurs when a pathogen remains with a vector such as a tick from one life stage or stadium to the next.

Transovarial transmission occurs when the pathogen is transferred from parent to offspring.

To read the study abstract, tap the toggle below.

Occurrence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. in different genera of mosquitoes (Culicidae) in Central Europe

Occurrence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. in different genera of mosquitoes (Culicidae) in Central Europe
Christian Melauna, Sina Zotzmanna, Vanesa Garcia Santaellaa, Antje Werblowa, Helga Zumkowski-Xylanderb, Peter Kraiczyc, Sven Klimpela

Lyme disease or Lyme borreliosis is a vector-borne infectious disease caused by spirochetes of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex.

Some stages of the borrelial transmission cycle in ticks (transstadial, feeding and co-feeding) can potentially occur also in insects, particularly in mosquitoes.

In the present study, adult as well as larval mosquitoes were collected at 42 different geographical locations throughout Germany. This is the first study, in which German mosquitoes were analyzed for the presence of Borrelia spp.

Targeting two specific borrelial genes, flaB and ospA encoding for the subunit B of flagellin and the outer surface protein A, the results show that DNA of Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia bavariensis and Borrelia garinii could be detected in ten Culicidae species comprising four distinct genera (Aedes, Culiseta, Culex, and Ochlerotatus).

Positive samples also include adult specimens raised in the laboratory from wild-caught larvae indicating that transstadial and/or transovarial transmission might occur within a given mosquito population.

 

FEATURE PHOTO: bug_biting_me by Andreas

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Written by Russell Logan

Russell Logan worked as a magazine publisher and editor until forced into early retirement through ill health with ME. He has battled with moderate to severe ME for 25 years. He now lives in Noosaville, Australia.

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