Transmission of the causative agents of numerous infectious diseases might be potentially conducted by various routes if this is supported by the genetics of the pathogen. Various transmission modes occur in related pathogens, reflecting a complex process that is specific for each particular host–pathogen system that relies on and is affected by pathogen and host genetics and ecology, ensuring the epidemiological spread of the pathogen. The recent dramatic rise in diagnosed cases of Lyme borreliosis might be due to several factors: the shifting of the distributional range of tick vectors caused by climate change; dispersal of infected ticks due to host animal migration; recent urbanization; an increasing overlap of humans’ habitat with wildlife reservoirs and the environment of tick vectors of Borrelia
; improvements in disease diagnosis; or establishment of adequate surveillance. The involvement of other bloodsucking arthropod vectors and/or other routes of transmission (human-to-human) of the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis, the spirochetes from the Borrelia burgdorferi
sensu lato complex, has been speculated to be contributing to increased disease burden. It does not matter how controversial the idea of vector-free spirochete transmission might seem in the beginning. As long as evidence of sexual transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi
both between vertebrate hosts and between tick vectors exists, this question must be addressed. In order to confirm or refute the existence of this phenomenon, which could have important implications for Lyme borreliosis epidemiology, the need of extensive research is obvious and required.
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