The prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in several tick species was studied over a 2 year period in two ecologically different areas in Spain. One area was an endemic area for Lyme disease, with a number of autochthonous human cases and supported large populations of Ixodes ricinus on cattle and birds; the second area was characterized by the absence of I. ricinus together with the presence of foxes and their associated tick species. While I. ricinus was the main vector of B. burgdoreri in the endemic area (with a mean prevalence of 14% in adults and 51% in nymphs), adults of both Ixodes canisuga and Ixodes hexagonus had high rates of B. burgdorferi prevalence (30 and 28%, respectively) in the zone where I. ricinus was absent. Immatures of Ixodes frontalis were found to be carriers of the spirochete only in those zones where I. ricinus is present, suggesting evidence for reservoir competence in a tick-bird cycle. © 1995 Chapman & Hall.
- Borrelia burgdorferi