Perpetuation of Borreliae
Sam R. Telford III and Heidi K. Goethert
from: Lyme Disease and Relapsing Fever Spirochetes: Genomics, Molecular Biology, Host Interactions and Disease Pathogenesis (Edited by: Justin D. Radolf and D. Scott Samuels). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2021) Pages: 267-306.
With one exception (epidemic relapsing fever), borreliae are obligately maintained in nature by ticks. Although some Borrelia
spp. may be vertically transmitted to subsequent generations of ticks, most require amplification by a vertebrate host because inheritance is not stable. Enzootic cycles of borreliae have been found globally; those receiving the most attention from researchers are those whose vectors have some degree of anthropophily and, thus, cause zoonoses such as Lyme disease or relapsing fever. To some extent, our views on the synecology of the borreliae has been dominated by an applied focus, viz., analyses that seek to understand the elements of human risk for borreliosis. But, the elements of borrelial perpetuation do not necessarily bear upon risk, nor do our concepts of risk provide the best structure for analyzing perpetuation. We identify the major global themes for the perpetuation of borreliae, and summarize local variations on those themes, focusing on key literature to outline the factors that serve as the basis for the distribution and abundance of borreliae.