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Friday
Dec042015

THE SERIOUS NATURE OF LYME DISEASE IN AUSTRALIA

The Australian paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus) is of significant medical and veterinary importance as a cause of dermatological and neurological disease, yet there is currently limited information about the bacterial communities harboured by these ticks and the risk of infectious disease transmission to humans and domestic animals. Ongoing controversy about the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (the aetiological agent of Lyme disease) in Australia increases the need to accurately identify and characterise bacteria harboured by I. holocyclus ticks.  

Ticks are the second most important vector of pathogens to humans after mosquitoes and the chief cause of vector-borne diseases in domestic animals and wildlife. 

This research provided the first evidence of a relapsing fever Borrelia sp. and of novel “Candidatus Neoehrlichia” species in Australia. The results raise new questions about tick-borne pathogens in I. holocyclus ticks. 

You can read the full study here:

Inhibition of the endosymbiont “Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii” during 16S rRNA gene profiling reveals potential pathogens in Ixodes ticks from Australia’: http://www.parasitesandvectors.com/content/8/1/345 

Source: Alexander W. Gofton, Charlotte L. Oskam, Nathan Lo, Tiziana Beninati, Heng Wei,Victoria McCarl, Dáithí C. Murray, Andrea Paparini, Telleasha L. Greay, Andrew J. Holmes, Michael Bunce, Una Ryan and Peter Irwin. Parasites & Vectors 2015, 8:345 

 

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