Multiple independent transmission cycles of a tick-borne pathogen within a local host community

Type Article
Date 2016-08
Language English
Author(s) Jacquot MaudeORCID1, 4, Abrial David1, Gasqui Patrick1, Bord Severine1, Marsot Maud1, 5, Masseglia Sebastien1, Pion Angelique1, Poux Valerie1, Zilliox Laurence2, Chapuis Jean-Louis3, Vourc'h Gwenael1, Bailly XavierORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : INRA, Epidemiol Anim UR346, St Genes Champanelle, France.
2 : Hop Univ Strasbourg, CNR Borrelia, F-6700 Strasbourg, France.
3 : Univ Sorbonne, UPMC, CNRS, MNHN,Ctr Ecol & Sci Conservat, CP53,61 Rue Buffon, F-75005 Paris, France.
4 : Univ Glasgow, Coll Med Vet & Life Sci, Inst Biodivers Anim Hlth & Comparat Med, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Lanark, Scotland.
5 : ANSES, Unite Epidemiol, 14 Rue Pierre & Marie Curie, F-94706 Maisons Alfort, France.
Source Scientific Reports (2045-2322) (Nature Publishing Group), 2016-08 , Vol. 6 , P. 31273 (12p.)
DOI 10.1038/srep31273
WOS© Times Cited 9

Many pathogens are maintained by multiple host species and involve multiple strains with potentially different phenotypic characteristics. Disentangling transmission patterns in such systems is often challenging, yet investigating how different host species contribute to transmission is crucial to properly assess and manage disease risk. We aim to reveal transmission cycles of bacteria within the Borrelia burgdorferi species complex, which include Lyme disease agents. We characterized Borrelia genotypes found in 488 infected Ixodes ricinus nymphs collected in the Senart Forest located near Paris (France). These genotypes were compared to those observed in three sympatric species of small mammals and network analyses reveal four independent transmission cycles. Statistical modelling shows that two cycles involving chipmunks, an introduced species, and non-sampled host species such as birds, are responsible for the majority of tick infections. In contrast, the cycle involving native bank voles only accounts for a small proportion of infected ticks. Genotypes associated with the two primary transmission cycles were isolated from Lyme disease patients, confirming the epidemiological threat posed by these strains. Our work demonstrates that combining high-throughput sequence typing with networks tools and statistical modeling is a promising approach for characterizing transmission cycles of multi-host pathogens in complex ecological settings.

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Jacquot Maude, Abrial David, Gasqui Patrick, Bord Severine, Marsot Maud, Masseglia Sebastien, Pion Angelique, Poux Valerie, Zilliox Laurence, Chapuis Jean-Louis, Vourc'h Gwenael, Bailly Xavier (2016). Multiple independent transmission cycles of a tick-borne pathogen within a local host community. Scientific Reports, 6, 31273 (12p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :