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Open AccessArticle

Multiple Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ixodes ricinus Ticks Collected from Humans in Romania

1
Department of Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, 400372 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
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Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Epidemiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Calea Mănăştur, no. 3–5, 400372 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
3
“Regele Mihai I al României” Life Sciences Institute, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, 3–5 Calea Mănăștur, 400372 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
4
Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Iuliu Haţieganu”, Iuliu Moldovan 23, 400000 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(5), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9050390
Received: 20 April 2020 / Revised: 17 May 2020 / Accepted: 18 May 2020 / Published: 19 May 2020
Ticks are medically important vectors of infectious diseases that are able to transmit pathogens to humans and animals. Tick-borne diseases represent a major health concern, posing an increasing risk to the public health during the last century and affecting millions of people. The aim of the current study was to provide epidemiological data regarding the presence of certain tick-borne pathogens in ticks feeding on humans in Romania. Overall, 522 Ixodes ricinus ticks collected from humans were screened for six pathogens: Borrelia spp., Neoehrlichia mikurensis, Babesia spp., Coxiella spp., Bartonella spp., and Francisella tularensis. Ticks attached to humans were collected between 2013–2015 in Cluj County, Romania. Conventional, nested and quantitative PCR were used to detect specific genetic sequences of each pathogen. For identifying the infectious agents, positive samples were sequenced. The infection prevalence was 21.07% from which 8.18% were mixed infections. The detected agents were Borrelia spp., N. mikurensis and Babesia spp. The present data reveal the endemic occurrence of potentially zoonotic pathogens in Romania. Revealing the current distribution of tick-borne pathogens in ticks collected from humans may provide new insights in understanding the complex ecology of tick-borne diseases and enlightens current knowledge about the infection prevalence at local, regional and national levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ixodes ricinus; ticks; pathogens; tick-borne disease; humans Ixodes ricinus; ticks; pathogens; tick-borne disease; humans
MDPI and ACS Style

Kalmár, Z.; Dumitrache, M.O.; D’Amico, G.; Matei, I.A.; Ionică, A.M.; Gherman, C.M.; Lupșe, M.; Mihalca, A.D. Multiple Tick-Borne Pathogens in Ixodes ricinus Ticks Collected from Humans in Romania. Pathogens 2020, 9, 390.

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