Logo Logo
Switch Language to German

Hepner, Sabrina; Fingerle, Volker; Heylen, Dieter; Marosevic, Durdica; Ghaffari, Katayoon; Okeyo, Mercy; Sing, Andreas and Margos, Gabriele (2019): First investigations on serum resistance and sensitivity of Borrelia turcica. In: Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases, Vol. 10, No. 5: pp. 1157-1161

Full text not available from 'Open Access LMU'.


Borrelia turcica is a reptile-associated Borrelia species that is vectored by the hard tick Hyalomma aegyptium. Tortoises of the genus Testudo represent the principal host of adult H. aegyptium, while immature stages are less host-specific and can be found on various vertebrates and even on humans. Borrelia turcica isolates were already successfully obtained from exotic tortoises suggesting that they are putative hosts. To the best of our knowledge, no further investigations on additional host association of B. turcica were conducted. Since many but not all adult Hyalomma ticks collected from tortoises are infected, questions arise about the direction of transmission between tick and tortoises for this Borrelia species. In addition, there is no information on the potential pathogenicity of B. turcica for humans. For other Borrelia species it has been shown that resistance or sensitivity to complement-active serum can be indicative of host species association(s). In this study, we explored for the first time the in vitro survival of B. turcica isolates from Turkey (IST7) and Greece (171601G) in the presence of 50% complement-active serum of different species (tortoise, turtle, human and bird). Both isolates showed resistance to tortoise serum, partial resistance to turtle serum but did not survive human and bird serum. These data suggest that indeed tortoises are reservoir host species for B. turcica while birds or humans are not. By implication these data suggest that B. turcica is not human pathogenic. Whether or not other reptile species, such as lizards, are also potential hosts, requires further investigation. However, as the life cycle of Borrelia is closely linked to that of their hosts and vectors, in vitro studies can only give clues about the actual in vivo behavior.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item