Publication
Title
Co-infections and transmission dynamics in a tick-borne bacterium community exposed to songbirds
Author
Abstract
We investigated the transmission dynamics of a community of tick-borne pathogenic bacteria in a common European songbird (Parus major). Tick-naïve birds were infested with three successive batches (spaced 5 days apart) of field-collected Ixodes ricinus nymphs, carrying the following tick-borne bacteria: Rickettsia helvetica (16.9%), Borrelia garinii (1.9%), Borrelia miyamotoi (1.6%), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (1.2%) and Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis (0.4%). Fed ticks were screened for the pathogens after moulting to the next developmental phase. We found evidence for early transmission (within 2.75 days after exposure) of R. helvetica and B. garinii, and to a lesser extent of A. phagocytophilum based on the increased infection rates of ticks during the first infestation. The proportion of ticks infected with R. helvetica remained constant over the three infestations. In contrast, the infection rate of B. garinii in the ticks increased over the three infestations, indicating a more gradual development of host tissue infection. No interactions were found among the different bacterium species during transmission. Birds did not transmit or amplify the other bacterial species. We show that individual birds can transmit several pathogenic bacterium species at the same time using different mechanisms, and that the transmission facilitation by birds increases the frequency of co-infections in ticks.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Environmental microbiology. - Oxford
Publication
Oxford : 2016
ISSN
1462-2912
Volume/pages
18:3(2016), p. 988-996
ISI
000372964800018
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Project info
Population structure, transmission and host specificity in a nidicolous ectoparasite, the tick Ixodes arboricola.
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 16.02.2016
Last edited 11.12.2017
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