It was shown as far back as 1986 in the USA that mosquitoes could harbor and transmit Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) and other spirochetal bacteria. Deer flies and horse flies were also found to be infected, as were fleas in later studies. See chart below. Source- click here.
So WHY isn't this being studied by the CDC and
other government agencies in charge of public health?
Additional scientific articles indicating mosquitoes, deer and horse flies, and fleas are infected with Lyme and other "tick borne" diseases (the majority of studies coming from researchers outside the United States). Bold font added to abstracts by LB to highlight main topic.
Microbiol Res. 2014 May-Jun;169(5-6):348-52. doi: 10.1016/j.micres.2013.10.002. Epub 2013 Oct 19.
Selected phenotypic features of BR91, a unique spirochaetal strain isolated from the Culex pipiens mosquito.
Growth temperature range, resistance to selective antibiotics, activities of 23 enzymes, protein fingerprints and fatty acids composition of the spirochaetal strain BR91, isolated from the Culex pipiens mosquito, were tested.
The spirochaetes were grown in BSK-H Complete liquid medium. The optimal in vitro growth temperature of the strain was 33 °C. Strain BR91 was sensitive to trimethoprim, nalidixic acid, 5-fluorouracil, and tolerated phosphomycin.
The strain produced acid and alkaline phosphatase, esterase (C4), esterase-lipase (C8), leucine arylamidase, naphthol-AS-BI-phosphohydrolase and α-fucosidase.
Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) assay revealed several major proteins in the size range of 13-16 kDa, 22-30 kDa and 37-131 kDa. Fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis showed that C₁₄:₀, C₁₆:₀, C₁₈:₁ ω9c and summed feature 5 (C₁₈:₂ ω6,9c and/or C₁₈:₀ anteiso) are major fatty acids.
This study highlights certain phenotypic differences between strain BR91 and the Lyme disease spirochaete Borrelia burgdorferi, and supports the hypothesis that strain BR91 represents a unique taxonomical entity in a system of spirochaetal species.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
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J Vector Ecol. 2010 Jun;35(1):50-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1948-7134.2010.00027.x.
During the years 1999-2002, a total of 4,898 individuals of 26 species of hematophagous insects (4,149 mosquitoes, 583 black flies, and 166 tabanid flies) was examined for the presence of spirochetes using dark-field microscopy.
There was an overall recovery of spirochetes from the midguts of Culicidae and Simuliidae of 23.5% and 11.4%, respectively. Spirochetes were not detected in Tabanidae.
Seven spirochetal strains have been successfully recovered from mosquitoes and black flies: BR149 (Culex pipiens), BR151 (Cx. pipiens), BR173 (Cx. pipiens), BR177 (Cx. pipiens), BR193 (Aedes cinereus), BR208 (Cx. pipiens), and BR231 (Simulium noelleri).
The strains have been adapted to laboratory conditions (BSK-H Complete medium).
Their preliminary determination based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing has shown that they differ from the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato as well as other members of the Order Spirochaetales indicating novel bacterial species in the Family Spirochaetaceae.
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Ann Agric Environ Med. 2008 Dec;15(2):225-30.
Ribotyping and whole-cell protein analysis of spirochetes isolated from arthropods in the Czech Republic.
In the presented work, six Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato isolates were recovered from Ixodes ricinus ticks and one strain of spirochete with uncertain taxonomic position isolated from Culex pipiens mosquito collected in the Valtice area (South Moravia, Czech Republic), as well as representative type strains, were further characterized by ribotyping and whole-cell protein fingerprinting.
The ribotype patterns obtained with HindII and EcoRV ribotype patterns showed good correlations with the recently proposed genotypes and grouped each genospecies in a well-separated cluster.
The whole-cell protein profiles of genospecies were more heterogeneous than the ribotype patterns.
The non-identified spirochetal strain was clearly separated from the Borrelia isolates in both methods thus proving their good capacity to characterize Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato strains.
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J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2004 Sep 5;808(2):249-54.
Characterization of spirochetal isolates from arthropods collected in South Moravia, Czech Republic, using fatty acid methyl esters analysis.
Aim of this study was to evaluate cellular fatty acid analysis for characterization of spirochetes.
Strains were isolated from arthropods collected in South Moravia, Czech Republic.
Fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) profile was determined for five Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) strains isolated from Ixodes ricinus ticks, one "Spironema culicis" strain recovered from mosquito Culex pipiens and seven spirochetal strains (not identified yet) isolated from mosquitoes and black flies.
Analysis was performed using a gas chromatography column in conjunction with Microbial Identification System Sherlock (MIDI Inc., Newark, DE, USA).
Results obtained on the basis of cluster analysis of FAME profiles showed, that the B. burgdorferi sensu lato isolates could be well separated from other spirochetal isolates.
We recommended method used in this study as a useful tool for preliminary identification of spirochetes isolated from ticks and dipterans.
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2004;11(1):105-8.
The prevalence of spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in ticks Ixodes ricinus and mosquitoes Aedes spp. within a selected recreational area in the city of Szczecin.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. in ticks Ixodes ricinus and mosquitoes Aedes spp. within the Bukowa Forest, collected between 2000 and 2001.
The study covered 215 ticks (193 nymphs and 22 adults) and 947 mosquitoes female of the genus Aedes.
Spirochetes of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. were detected in the arthropods studied with the method of indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA).
Positive readings of the immunological reaction were stated in 17.7 % of the collected nymphs and adult forms of Ixodes ricinus, and in 0.8 % of mosquito females of the genus Aedes.
The number of B. burgdorferi observed in a view field (400 x) of microscopic preparations of all infected mosquitoes and about 10 % of the infected ticks, ranged from 1-10.
This number in 50 % of the nymphs was from 11-50 spirochetes. View fields of the preparations of the other 50 % of nymphs and adult forms featured more then 50 spirochetes.
The observed low values of the prevalence and infection intensity of female mosquitoes Aedes spp. compared to ticks suggest that the former do not pose a serious epidemiological threat in the spreading of Lyme disease.
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Ann Agric Environ Med. 2002;9(2):257-9.
Positive findings of Borrelia burgdorferi in Culex (Culex) pipiens pipiens larvae in the surrounding of Brno city determined by the PCR method.
After first finding Borrelia in the midgut of imago mosquitoes, we concentrated on the presence of Borrelia in mosquito development stages--larvae of the third or fourth instar.
In the summer season in the years of 2000-2001 a total of 439 Culex (Culex) pipiens pipiens larvae were collected from a barrel of rainwater in the Obrany holiday area of Brno city (East Moravia, Czech Republic).
The larvae midgut was observed under dark-field microscopy.
Ten DFM positive samples (2.28%) were further analysed using the single-tube nested PCR method for the presence of flagellum DNA sequence specific for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, of which 5 were positive.
Borrelian positivity of Culex (C.) pipiens pipiens larvae was 1.14%.
One spirochete isolated strain in BSK-H medium was obtained. PCR detection for borrelian DNA of the isolated strain was negative.
From these results we can conclude that a low percentage Borreliae can be also found in mosquito larvae and are likely to survive into imago stage.
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Ann Agric Environ Med. 2002;9(1):55-7.
Detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in mosquitoes (Culicidae) in recreational areas of the city of Szczecin.
The mosquitoes were caught within the period of their highest activity, i.e. June August 2001, in recreational areas of the city of Szczecin.
Spirochetes, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato were detected in mosquitoes with the aid of the method of indirect immunofluorescence (IFA) using rabbit anti-Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies and goat anti-rabbit IgG marked with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC).
A total of 639 mosquito females representing genera Aëdes (99.1%) and Culex (0.9%) were collected.
The mean value of the infection rate of mosquitoes from the area studied was 1.25%.
The highest infection rate was recorded in June (3.2%), while the lowest -- in July (0.6%).
All mosquitoes infected with Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes belonged to the genus Aëdes.
The results of the present study confirm a potential role of those arthropods in epidemiology of Lyme borreliosis.
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Folia Parasitol (Praha). 1998;45(1):67-72.
Blood-sucking arthropods, collected in South Moravia, Czech Republic, were examined by darkfield microscopy for borreliae from 1988 to 1996.
Among host-seeking ixodid ticks (8481 Ixodes ricinus (L.), 372 Dermacentor reticulatus (Fabr.), 167 Haemaphysalis concinna Koch), borreliae were only observed in adult (23.2%), nymphal (17.2%) and larval (6.3%) I. ricinus.
The prevalence of borreliae in I. ricinus did not vary considerably among habitats except for lower values in agroecosystems, xerothermic oak woods and grasslands. The frequency of intensity of spirochaetal infection (log10 counts of borreliae per tick) in I. ricinus approximated the negative binomial distribution.
The proportions of host-seeking female and nymphal ticks containing > 100 borreliae were 5.0% and 1.7%, respectively. Among preimaginal ticks (749 I. ricinus, 222 D. reticulatus, 82 H. concinna) parasitizing free-living forest birds and small mammals, borreliae were detected in 6.1% of larval and 10.3% of nymphal I. ricinus, and in one larval H. concinna; 3.2% of the birds and 19.4% of the mammals carried infected ticks.
Among 3464 female mosquitoes (Culicidae) of 6 species, 4.1% contained spirochaetes: 1.4% of Aedes vexans Meig., 1.3% of A. cantans (Meig.), 2.2% of A. sticticus (Meig.), 2.2% of Culex pipiens pipiens L. and 5.9% of C. p. molestus Forskal.
Borreliae were also detected in 8.4% of 142 fleas (Siphonaptera, largely Ctenophthalmus agyrtes Heller and Hystrichopsylla talpae Curtis) collected from small mammals.
Twelve isolates of B. burgdorferi sensu lato have been identified to genospecies: 6 strains from I. ricinus (4 Borrelia garinii Baranton et al., 1 B. afzelii Canica et al. and 1 B. lusitaniae Le Fleche et al.), 1 strain from A. vexans (B. afzelii), 2 strains from C. agyrtes (B. afzelii), and 3 strains from host rodents (B. afzelii).
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Eur J Epidemiol. 1997 Dec;13(8):951-7.
The survey is based on a total of 1263 records (738 isolations and 525 molecular DNA detections) of five Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. genomic groups available from 26 European countries: B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. afzelii, B. garinii, B. valaisiana (= VS116) and B. lusitaniae (= PoTiB2).
It shows the geographic distribution, the source (ixodid ticks 802 records, fleas 2 records, mosquitoes 2 records, wild mammals 66 records, human patients 391 records) and the association of the genomic groups with particular clinical manifestations of Lyme borreliosis in humans (B. afzelii significantly prevails in skin lesions whereas B. garinii is more often associated with neuroborreliosis).
The most frequent genomic groups in Europe are B. garinii (501 records) and B. afzelii (469 records). They occur across the continent and islands, whereas the third frequent genomic group, B. burgdorferi s.s. (201 records), has only rarely been isolated in eastern Europe. The remaining genomic groups, i.e. B. valaisiana (85 records) and B. lusitaniae (7 records) have only been isolated from, or detected in, Ixodes ricinus ticks in a few European countries.
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Cesk Epidemiol Mikrobiol Imunol. 1994 Mar;43(1):32-5.
[Variations in the occurrence of Borrelia in the tick, Ixodes ricinus (L.) in the Olomouc District].
[Article in Czech]
Examinations of 1,998 ticks Ixodes ricinus in the district of Olomouc revealed 182 cases of borrelia, i.e. in 9.1% ticks.
Prevalence in males is 10.7%, in females 12.8% and in nymphs 7.0%.
A certain coincidence was observed between mosquito incidence, in particular during the first half of the year, and borrelia prevalence in ticks in the course of the following year, with prevalence variations manifested in tick imagos only.
A hypothesis is formulated that mosquitos feeding on larger animals, who are often attacked by nymphs of I. ricinus ticks, can increase the infection rate in the hosts by borrelia transmission and thus participate in the increase of tick imago prevalence during subsequent years.
Med Vet Entomol. 1990 Apr;4(2):221-6.
1. Mosquitoes were sampled with five suction traps, from May to October 1983, at a forest site in south-central Sweden.
2. Twenty-three species of mosquitoes were identified among the total of 3108 females collected: 4% of them in an unbaited trap, 3% in a trap baited with two frogs, 24% with a guinea-pig, 28% with a hen and 40% in a trap baited with a rabbit.
3. The dominant species of Culicidae trapped were 39% Aedes communis (De Geer), 21% Ae. cinereus Meigen, 14% Coquillettidia richiardii (Ficalbi), 8% Ae. punctor (Kirby) and 4% Culiseta morsitans (Theobald).
4. Aedes annulipes (Meigen), Ae. cantans (Meigen), Ae. cinereus, Ae. communis and Ae. punctor were mostly attracted to the rabbit, whereas Culiseta morsitans, Culex pipiens L. and/or Cx torrentium Martini were strongly ornithophilic.
5. Based on these and previously published data the ecological and behavioural potential of the mosquitoes to transmit Sindbis, Inkoo, Tahyna and Batai viruses, tularaemia (caused by Francisella tularensis) and Ixodes-borne borreliosis (caused by Borrelia burgdorferi) in Fennoscandia is discussed.
6. The data support the hypothesis that Sindbis virus, which is enzootic in bird populations in Fennoscandia, is vectored between birds by Cx pipiens/torrentium and Cs. morsitans, and that abundant Aedes spp., particularly Ae. cinereus, which feed on both birds and mammals, are primary link vectors from infective birds to man and other mammals.
J Clin Microbiol. 1988 Aug;26(8):1482-6.
Members of 18 species of ticks, mosquitoes, horse flies, and deer flies were collected in southeastern Connecticut and tested by indirect fluorescent-antibody staining methods for Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease.
An infection rate of 36.2% (116 tested), recorded for immature Ixodes dammini, exceeded positivity values for all other arthropod species.
Prevalence of infection for hematophagous insects ranged from 2.9% of 105 Hybomitra lasiophthalma to 14.3% of seven Hybomitra epistates.
Infected I. dammini larvae and nymphs coexisted with infected Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick) immatures on white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), but unlike I. dammini, none of the 55 adult American dog ticks collected from vegetation harbored B. burgdorferi.
Groups of 113 field-collected mosquitoes of Aedes canadensis and 43 Aedes stimulans were placed in cages with uninfected Syrian hamsters. Of these, 11 females of both species contained B. burgdorferi and had fed fully or partially from the hamsters.
No spirochetes were isolated from the hamsters, but antibodies were produced in one test animal.
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J Infect Dis. 1987 Oct;156(4):694-5.
Experimental infections of mosquitoes with Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease.
[Summary by LB- Mosquitoes can feed on infected blood and spirochetes can survive
in mosquitoes for 6 days, during feeding and re-feeding.
Spirochetes were detected in 82 mosquitoes within 48 hours of feeding.
Within 3 weeks spleens and kidneys of hamsters were infected by mosquito fed blood.]
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