*Emerging borreliae – Expanding beyond Lyme borreliosis*
Sally J. Cutlera, Eva Ruzic-Sabljicb, Aleksandar Potkonja
/Molecular and Cellular Probes/, online first, 12 August 2016.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mcp.2016.08.003
Lyme borreliosis (or Lyme disease) has become a virtual household term
to the exclusion of other forgotten, emerging or re-emerging borreliae.
We review current knowledge regarding these other borreliae, exploring
their ecology, epidemiology and pathological potential, for example, for
the newly described /B/. /mayonii/.
These bacteria range from tick-borne, relapsing fever-inducing strains
detected in some soft ticks, such as /B/. /mvumii/, to those from bat
ticks resembling /B/. /turicatae/. Some of these emerging pathogens
remain unnamed, such as the borrelial strains found in South African
penguins and some African cattle ticks. Others, such as /B/. /microti/
and unnamed Iranian strains, have not been recognised through a lack of
discriminatory diagnostic methods. Technical improvements in
phylogenetic methods have allowed the differentiation of /B/.
/merionesi/ from other borrelial species that co-circulate in the same
Furthermore, we discuss members that challenge the existing dogma that
Lyme disease-inducing strains are transmitted by hard ticks, whilst the
relapsing fever-inducing spirochaetes are transmitted by soft ticks.
Controversially, the genus has now been split with Lyme
disease-associated members being transferred to /Borreliella/, whilst
the relapsing fever species retain the /Borrelia/ genus name. It took
some 60 years for the correlation with clinical presentations now known
as Lyme borreliosis to be attributed to their spirochaetal cause.
Many of the borreliae discussed here are currently considered exotic
curiosities, whilst others, such as /B/. /miyamotoi/, are emerging as
significant causes of morbidity. To elucidate their role as potential
pathogenic agents, we first need to recognise their presence through
suitable diagnostic approaches.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mcp.2016.08.003