Terrestrial distribution of the Lyme borreliosis agent Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in East Asia.Jpn J Infect Dis. 2004 Dec; 57(6):229-35.JJ
Lyme borreliosis is the most prevalent tick-borne zoonosis and an important emerging infection in Europe, North America, and Far Eastern countries. The geographical distribution of Borrelia spp. and the relationship between Borrelia spp. and tick spp. in East Asian countries have been studied. In Northern Asian countries, Ixodes persulcatus carries Eurasian-type Borrelia garinii (20047 type), Borrelia afzelii, and Asian-type B. garinii (variant NT29), whereas Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto has not been isolated. In contrast, Asian-type B. garinii has not been found in the European vector tick Ixodes ricinus. These Borrelia spp. cause Lyme borreliosis in their respective countries. The specificity between Borrelia spp. and tick spp. has been confirmed from studies in the Moscow region, which is a sympatric region for the tick spp. I. persulcatus and I. ricinus. In Southeast Asian countries including the southernmost island of Okinawa, the Borrelia valaisiana-related genomic group is carried by Ixodes granulatus. In Japan, a similar borrelia strain Am501, is transmitted by Ixodes columnae. Ixodes ovatus transmits Borrelia japonica but not other species. On other hand, in central China and Nepal, the ticks harbor Borrelia sinica. It is believed that these molecular epidemiological surveys will provide useful information for the diagnoses and prevention of Lyme borreliosis in these countries.