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Ubiquitous bacteria Borrelia crocidurae in Western African ticks Ornithodoros sonrai

Abstract : Background: In West Africa, tick-borne relapsing fever is a neglected arthropod-borne infection caused by Borrelia crocidurae transmitted by the argasid tick Ornithodoros sonrai. From an epidemiological point of view, it is of interest to know whether some genotypes of the vector are specialized in carrying certain genotypes of the pathogen. Findings: Thirty-five O. sonrai ticks collected in Mali, Senegal, Mauritania and Morocco confirmed to be B. crocidurae-infected, were genotyped by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. B. crocidurae was genotyped by Multispacer Sequence Typing. The 35 O. sonrai ticks grouped into 12 genotypes with strong geographical structuration. MST resolved the 35 B. crocidurae isolates into 29 genotypes with pairwise divergence of 0.09-1.56 % without strict geographical structuration as genotype ST22 was found in Mali, Senegal and Mauritania. There was no evidence of tick-borrelia specialization as one O. sonrai genotype carried several B. crocidurae genotypes and one B. crocidurae genotype was found in different O. sonrai genotypes. Conclusions: This report illustrates a non-specialized circulation of B. crocidurae borreliae within O. sonrai ticks in West Africa.
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Haitham Elbir, Aurélien Fotsofotso, Georges Diatta, Jean François Trape, Céline Arnathau, et al.. Ubiquitous bacteria Borrelia crocidurae in Western African ticks Ornithodoros sonrai. Parasites and Vectors, BioMed Central, 2015, 8 (477), ⟨10.1186/s13071-015-1089-6⟩. ⟨hal-01237955⟩

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