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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/28978

Title: Lyme neuroborreliosis and bird populations in northern Europe
Authors: Mysterud, Atle
Heylen, Dieter
Matthysen, Erik
Garcia, Aida Lopez
Jore, Solveig
Viljugrein, Hildegunn
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: ROYAL SOC
Abstract: Many vector-borne diseases are transmitted through complex pathogen-vector-host networks, which makes it challenging to identify the role of specific host groups in disease emergence. Lyme borreliosis in humans is now the most common vector-borne zoonosis in the Northern Hemisphere. The disease is caused by multiple genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato bacteria transmitted by ixodid (hard) ticks, and the major host groups transmit Borrelia genospecies with different pathogenicity, causing variable clinical symptoms in humans. The health impact of a given host group is a function of the number of ticks it infects as well as the pathogenicity of the genospecies it carries. Borrelia afzelii, with mainly small mammals as reservoirs, is the most common pathogen causing Lyme borreliosis, and it is often responsible for the largest proportion of infected host-seeking tick nymphs in Europe. The bird-borne Borrelia garinii, though less prevalent in nymphal ticks, is more likely to cause Lyme neuroborreliosis, but whether B. garinii causes disseminated disease more frequently has not been documented. Based on extensive data of annual disease incidence across Norway from 1995 to 2017, we show here that 69% of disseminated Lyme borreliosis cases were neuroborreliosis, which is three times higher than predicted from the infection prevalence of B. garinii in host-seeking ticks (21%). The population estimate of migratory birds, mainly of thrushes, explained part of the annual variation in cases of neuroborreliosis, with a one-year time lag. We highlight the important role of the genospecies' pathogenicity and the host associations for understanding the epidemiology of disseminated Lyme borreliosis.
Notes: [Mysterud, Atle; Viljugrein, Hildegunn] Univ Oslo, Ctr Ecol & Evolutionary Synth, Dept Biosdences, POB 1066, N-0316 Oslo, Norway. [Mysterud, Atle; Matthysen, Erik] Univ Antwerp, Evolutionary Ecol Grp, Dept Biol, Univ Pl 1, B-2610 Antwerp, Belgium. [Heylen, Dieter J. A.] Hasselt Univ, Interuniv Inst Biostat & Stat Bioinformat, Diepenbeek, Belgium. [Heylen, Dieter J. A.] Princeton Univ, Dept Ecol & Evolut Biol, Princeton, NJ 08544 USA. [Garcia, Aida Lopez] Lista Bird Observ, N-4563 Borhaug, Norway. [Jore, Solveig] Norwegian Publ Hlth Inst, Dept Food Water Zoonot & Vector Borne Infect, POB 4404, N-0403 Oslo, Norway. [Viljugrein, Hildegunn] Norwegian Vet Inst, POB 750, N-0106 Oslo, Norway.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/28978
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2019.0759
ISI #: 000470114900021
ISSN: 0962-8452
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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