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.
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