1887

Abstract

A novel, fast-growing spirochaete was isolated from the hard tick (family , subfamily ) using Barbour–Stoenner–Kelly (BSK) II medium. Tick samples were taken during the summer of 2000 from the Istanbul area in northwestern Turkey. Sixty-seven of 153 adults (44 %) and 72 of 185 nymphs (39 %) were infected with the novel spirochaete, whereas none of the 20 larvae examined were infected. The optimal growth temperature of the spirochaete in BSK II medium was 34–37 °C, and it could grow at 39 °C. Doubling times at 34 and 37 °C were 5·3 and 5·1 h, respectively. Six pure cultures of the spirochaete were obtained and characterized by microscopic observation, sequence analysis of the flagellin gene (), SDS-PAGE and Western blotting. The spirochaete was morphologically similar to those of the genus and contained a 41 kDa protein reactive with mAb H9724 specific to the flagellin of a species. Polyclonal antibody raised to this spirochaete reacted with several antigen bands, whereas no bands were detected with , , and . The sequences of the six isolates showed high similarity, with sequence similarity values ranging from 99·2 to 100 %; however, the similarity of the isolates' sequences to those of the Lyme-disease-related and relapsing-fever-associated species was less than 90 %. These findings suggest that the unique spirochaete is a member of the genus , and differs from previously described species.

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2003-09-01
2019-10-14
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