CASE REPORTS
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., INTRAMURAL
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First isolation of the relapsing fever spirochete, Borrelia hermsii, from a domestic dog.

In North America, tick-borne relapsing fever of humans is most frequently caused by infection with the spirochete Borrelia hermsii. Prior to our investigation, this spirochete was not known to infect dogs although another species, Borrelia turicatae, has been isolated from domestic canids in Florida and Texas. A clinically ill dog in Washington, USA, was spirochetemic upon examination. Spirochetes were isolated from the dog's serum and examined by PCR and multi-locus sequence typing. DNA sequences for 7 loci all typed the spirochete as B. hermsii and a member of genomic group II of this species. Therefore, companion dogs that reside in rustic cabins in higher elevation forests are at risk of infection with B. hermsii.

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