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TBE Meningococcal Disease Influenza Smallpox

  Mixed Infection of Ticks

The spread of mixed infections with natural focality transmitted by ixodid ticks is a well recognized phenomenon. Ixodes ricinus ticks coinfected by Borrelia burgdorferi, Babesia microti, and Ehrlichia phagocytophila are common. Different combinations of pathogens, which simultaneously infect the same Ixodes tick, have been described mainly involving TBE virus + Borrelia spp. and TBE virus + Coxiella burnetii. A Russian survey found more than one-third of all infected tick individuals were multi-infected. Among these more than 80% were dually infected and 13% contained three species of pathogens simultaneously. The prevalence of mixed infection by Borrelia and TBE virus in adult ticks varies depending on tick species and natural focus, reaching 510% in some places. The presence of Borrelia in ticks has no apparent effect on TBE virus, and vice versa, showing that these pathogens do not interfere with each other within the tick.

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