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Volume 12, Number 7—July 2006


Migratory Passerine Birds as Reservoirs of Lyme Borreliosis in Europe

Pär Comstedt*, Sven Bergström*, Björn Olsen*†, Ulf Garpmo*‡, Lisette Marjavaara*, Hans Mejlon§, Alan G. Barbour¶, and Jonas Bunikis¶Comments to Author 
Author affiliations: *Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; †Kalmar University, Kalmar, Sweden; ‡Kalmar Hospital, Kalmar, Sweden; §Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; ¶University of California, Irvine, California, USA

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Table 3

Borrelia species in Ixodes ricinus ticks from migratory birds

Larvae Nymphs Total
No. ticks tested* 606 514 1,120
No. (%) positive
LB group† 61 (10.1) 99 (19.3) 160 (14.3)
B. garinii 27 48 75
B. burgdorferi 1 2 3
B. afzelli 0 4 4
B. valaisiana 1 5 6
RF group† 1 (0.2) 2 (0.4) 3 (0.3)
B. miyamotoi 1 2 3

*Quantitative polymerase chain reaction for Lyme borreliosis (LB) and relapsing fever (RF) including B. miyamotoi group spirochetes (11).
Borrelia species was determined for 88 of 160 LB-positive samples and all 3 RF-positive samples by sequencing a partial rrs-rrl intergenic spacer region region (25) or, for B. valaisiana, a partial 16S rRNA gene (24).

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