Vector Competence of Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) for Three Genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi

Dolan, Marc C. ; Piesman, Joseph ; Mbow, M. Lamine ; Maupin, Gary O. ; PéTer, Olivier ; Brossard, Michel ; Golde, William T.

In: Journal of Medical Entomology, 1998, vol. 35, no. 4, p. 465-470

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    The vector competence of 2 tick species, Ixodes ricinus (L.) and Ixodes scapularis Say, was determined and compared for 3 genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi. The 3 genospecies of B. burgdorferi used in the following experiments were Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (B-31 and B-31.D1 clone), Borrelia afzelii (strain Pgau.C3), and Borrelia garinii (strain VS286 and VSBP). Spirochetes from all 5 strains were inoculated intradermally into outbred mice; larval ticks of both species were subsequently fed on those mice and replete larvae were assayed for infection by culture in BSK-H media every 7 d for 4 wk. Infection frequencies in I. scapularis exposed to the 5 strains were as follows: B-31 (90%), B-31.D1 (83%), Pgau.C3 (87%), VS286 (10%), and VSBP (5%). The comparable infection frequencies for /. ricinus were B-31 (3%), B-31.D1 (3%), Pgau.C3 (90%), VS286 (5%), and VSBP (3%). Resultant nymphal /. scapularis successfully transmitted B-31, B-31.D1, Pgau.C3, and VS286 to outbred mice. /. ricinus nymphs transmitted Pgau.C3 and VS286. Both species failed to transmit strain VSBP