Spirochetes belonging to the Borrelia burgdoferi sensu lato (sl) group cause Lyme Borreliosis (LB), which is the most commonly reported vector-borne zoonosis in Europe. B. burgdorferi sl is maintained in nature in a complex cycle involving Ixodes ricinus ticks and several species of vertebrate hosts. The transmission dynamics of B. burgdorferi sl is complicated by the varying competence of animals for different genospecies of spirochetes that, in turn, vary in their capability of causing disease. In this study, a set of difference equations simplifying the complex interaction between vectors and their hosts (competent and not for Borrelia) is built to gain insights into conditions underlying the dominance of B. lusitaniae (transmitted by lizards to susceptible ticks) and the maintenance of B. afzelii (transmitted by wild rodents) observed in a study area in Tuscany, Italy. Findings, in agreement with field observations, highlight the existence of a threshold for the fraction of larvae feeding on rodents below which the persistence of B. afzelii is not possible. Furthermore, thresholds change as nonlinear functions of the expected number of nymph bites on mice, and the transmission and recovery probabilities. In conclusion, our model provided an insight into mechanisms underlying the relative frequency of different Borrelia genospecies, as observed in field studies.

Modeling the effects of variable feeding patterns of larval ticks on the transmission of Borrelia lusitaniae and Borrelia afzelii

FERRERI, LUCA
First
;
PERAZZO, SILVIA;VENTURINO, Ezio;GIACOBINI, Mario Dante Lucio;BERTOLOTTI, Luigi;MANNELLI, Alessandro
Last
2017-01-01

Abstract

Spirochetes belonging to the Borrelia burgdoferi sensu lato (sl) group cause Lyme Borreliosis (LB), which is the most commonly reported vector-borne zoonosis in Europe. B. burgdorferi sl is maintained in nature in a complex cycle involving Ixodes ricinus ticks and several species of vertebrate hosts. The transmission dynamics of B. burgdorferi sl is complicated by the varying competence of animals for different genospecies of spirochetes that, in turn, vary in their capability of causing disease. In this study, a set of difference equations simplifying the complex interaction between vectors and their hosts (competent and not for Borrelia) is built to gain insights into conditions underlying the dominance of B. lusitaniae (transmitted by lizards to susceptible ticks) and the maintenance of B. afzelii (transmitted by wild rodents) observed in a study area in Tuscany, Italy. Findings, in agreement with field observations, highlight the existence of a threshold for the fraction of larvae feeding on rodents below which the persistence of B. afzelii is not possible. Furthermore, thresholds change as nonlinear functions of the expected number of nymph bites on mice, and the transmission and recovery probabilities. In conclusion, our model provided an insight into mechanisms underlying the relative frequency of different Borrelia genospecies, as observed in field studies.
2017
1
20
Borrelia afzelii; Borrelia lusitaniae; Lizard; Lyme disease; Mathematical model; Rodent
Ferreri, Luca; Perazzo, Silvia; Venturino, Ezio; Giacobini, Mario Dante Lucio; Bertolotti, Luigi; Mannelli, Alessandro
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1644934
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