Presence of potentially pathogenic Babesia sp. for human in Ixodes ricinus in Switzerland

Simona Casati, Heinz Sager, Lise Gern, Jean-Claude Piffaretti
Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine: AAEM 2006, 13 (1): 65-70
We have designed and performed a new PCR method based on the 18S rRNA in order to individuate the presence and the identity of Babesia parasites. Out of 1159 Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) ticks collected in four areas of Switzerland, nine were found to contain Babesia DNA. Sequencing of the short amplicon obtained (411-452 bp) allowed the identification of three human pathogenic species: Babesia microti, B. divergens, for the first time in Switzerland, Babesia sp. EU1. We also report coinfections with B. sp. EU1-Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Babesia sp. EU1-B. afzelii.

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