Host dispersal shapes the population structure of a tick‐borne bacterial pathogen



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Norte, Ana Cláudia and Margos, Gabriele and Becker, Noémie S. and Albino Ramos, Jaime and Núncio, Maria Sofia and Fingerle, Volker and Araújo, Pedro Miguel and Adamík, Peter and Alivizatos, Haralambos and Barba, Emilio and Barrientos Yuste, Rafael and Cauchard, Laure and Csörgő, Tibor and Diakou, Anastasia and Dingemanse, Niels J. and Doligez, Blandine and Dubiec, Anna and Eeva, Tapio and Flaisz, Barbara and Grim, Tomas and Hau, Michaela and Heylen, Dieter and Hornok, Sándor and Kazantzidis, Savas and Kováts, David and Krause, František and Literak, Ivan and Mänd, Raivo and Mentesana, Lucia and Morinay, Jennifer and Mutanen, Marko and Neto, Júlio Manuel and Nováková, Markéta and Sanz, Juan José and da Silva, Luís Pascoal and Sprong, Hein and Tirri, Ina‐Sabrina and Török, János and Trilar, Tomi and Tyller, Zdeněk and Visser, Marcel E. and de Carvalho, Isabel Lopes (2019) Host dispersal shapes the population structure of a tick‐borne bacterial pathogen. Molecular Ecology, 29 (3). pp. 485-501. ISSN 1365-294X

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Birds are hosts for several zoonotic pathogens. Because of their high mobility, especially of longdistance migrants, birds can disperse these pathogens, affecting their distribution and phylogeography. We focused on Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, which includes the causative agents of Lyme borreliosis, as an example for tick‐borne pathogens, to address the role of birds as propagation hosts of zoonotic agents at a large geographical scale. We collected ticks from passerine birds in 11 European countries. B . burgdorferi s.l. prevalence in Ixodes spp. was 37% and increased with latitude. The fieldfare Turdus pilaris and the blackbird T. merula carried ticks with the highest Borrelia prevalence (92 and 58%, respectively), whereas robin Erithacus rubecula ticks were the least infected (3.8%). Borrelia garinii was the most prevalent genospecies (61%), followed by B. valaisiana (24%), B. afzelii (9%), B. turdi (5%) and B. lusitaniae (0.5%). A novel Borrelia genospecies “Candidatus Borrelia aligera” was also detected. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST ) analysis of B. garinii isolates together with the global collection of B. garinii genotypes obtained from the Borrelia MLST public database revealed that: (a) there was little overlap among genotypes from different continents, (b) there was no geographical structuring within Europe, and (c) there was no evident association pattern detectable among B. garinii genotypes from ticks feeding on birds, questing ticks or human isolates. These findings strengthen the hypothesis that the population structure and evolutionary biology of tick‐borne pathogens are shaped by their host associations and the movement patterns of these hosts.

Resumen (otros idiomas)

Las aves tienen patógenos de muy diversa índole. Gracias a su capacidad de vuelo -muy especialmente la de las aves migradoras-, pueden condicionar la filogenia de sus parásitos. En este trabajo en el que han participado investigadores de 11 países europeos, encontramos que un patógeno bacteriano (Borrelia sp.) carecía de estructuración geográfica dentro del continente, lo que parece estar condicionado por el comportamiento y los patrones de movimiento de sus hospedadores aviares.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:birds, Borrelia garinii, host-parasite interactions, Lyme borreliosis, migration, ticks
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Birds
Medical sciences > Biology > Ecology
ID Code:61633
Deposited On:23 Jul 2020 15:27
Last Modified:27 Jul 2020 11:16

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