Title

Prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi in Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes affinis in Southeastern Virginia

Presenting Author Name/s

Anna Phan

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Wayne Hynes

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Disciplines

Bacteriology | Genetics | Other Microbiology

Description/Abstract

A recently characterised bacterium, Borrelia miyamotoi, has potential to become a major issue in VIrginia as it is not endemic to the commonwealth. This bacterium is transmitted through the bite of an infected Ixodes scapularis and causes Borrelia miyamotoi disease. Another related vector, Ixodes affinis, have not been reported to bite humans, but they may play a role in maintaining B. miyamotoi in its sylvatic cycle. Both I. scapularis and I. affinis are well established in southeastern Virginia, and this study determines the prevalence of B. miyamotoi within these ticks. Questing I. scapularis and I. affinis were collected by flagging various field sites from 2010 to 2017. The presence of B. miyamotoi in the ticks was determined by performing real-time PCR on DNA extracted from the collected ticks. This study shows that B. miyamotoi is present in low densities within both I. scapularis and I. affinis, especially in recent years. Host sharing between the two ticks may lead to an increase in B. miyamotoi infections due to increased reservoirs of the pathogen. Further research is needed to continue the active surveillance of B. miyamotoi in I. scapularis and I. affinis and sequencing of B. miyamotoi positive tick DNA to confirm positives.

Session Title

Biological Sciences 1

Location

Learning Commons @ Perry Library Conference Room 1310

Start Date

2-2-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

2-2-2019 10:00 AM

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Feb 2nd, 9:00 AM Feb 2nd, 10:00 AM

Prevalence of Borrelia miyamotoi in Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes affinis in Southeastern Virginia

Learning Commons @ Perry Library Conference Room 1310

A recently characterised bacterium, Borrelia miyamotoi, has potential to become a major issue in VIrginia as it is not endemic to the commonwealth. This bacterium is transmitted through the bite of an infected Ixodes scapularis and causes Borrelia miyamotoi disease. Another related vector, Ixodes affinis, have not been reported to bite humans, but they may play a role in maintaining B. miyamotoi in its sylvatic cycle. Both I. scapularis and I. affinis are well established in southeastern Virginia, and this study determines the prevalence of B. miyamotoi within these ticks. Questing I. scapularis and I. affinis were collected by flagging various field sites from 2010 to 2017. The presence of B. miyamotoi in the ticks was determined by performing real-time PCR on DNA extracted from the collected ticks. This study shows that B. miyamotoi is present in low densities within both I. scapularis and I. affinis, especially in recent years. Host sharing between the two ticks may lead to an increase in B. miyamotoi infections due to increased reservoirs of the pathogen. Further research is needed to continue the active surveillance of B. miyamotoi in I. scapularis and I. affinis and sequencing of B. miyamotoi positive tick DNA to confirm positives.