Borrelia miyamotoi

What is Borrelia miyamotoi?

Borrelia miyamotoi is a species of spiral-shaped bacteria that is closely related to the bacteria that cause tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF). It is related to the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. First identified in 1995 in ticks from Japan, B. miyamotoi has since been detected in two species of North American ticks, deer tick and the western black-legged tick.

What Symptoms does B. miyamotoi cause?

  • fever
  • chills
  • headache
  • body and joint pain
  • fatigue
  • rarely a rash
  • leukopenia
  • thrombocytopenia
  • elevated aminotransferase levels

What type of testing is available?

Right now the tests being used to detect B. miyamotoi  are:

  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests that detect DNA from the organism
  • Antibody-based tests

Note: the CDC reports that both types of tests are under development and not widely commercially available but can be ordered from a limited number of CLIA-approved laboratories.

How is B. miyamotoi treated?

B. miyamotoi is treated  with a 2-4 week course of doxycycline, amoxicillin and ceftriaxone have  been used.

Other Facts about B. miyamotoi

  • Fewer than 60 well-documented cases of human infection have been reported in the US.
  • The B. miyamotoi bacterium was discovered in ticks and mice in Japan back in 1995
  • In Izhevsk (population 650,000), a city in European Russia (Republic of Udmurtia), we identified 95 human cases of B. miyamotoi infection during 2010–2014

What is the best Prevention?

So far the best way to prevent B. miyamotoi is to avoid ticks. Make sure to avoid grassy, bushy or woody areas. Stick to trails. Wear insect repellent. Perform tick checks and properly remove ticks if found. Click here for more prevention methods.

Articles about B. miyamotoi

Research Studies

  1. Wagemakers AStaarink PJSprong HHovius JWBorrelia miyamotoi: a widespread tick-borne relapsing fever spirochete. Trends Parasitol2015;31:2609DOIPubMed
  2. Hofhuis AHarms Mvan den Wijngaard CSprong Hvan Pelt W. Continuing increase of tick bites and Lyme disease between 1994 and 2009. Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2015;6:69–74.
  3. Platonov AEKaran LSKolyasnikova NMMakhneva NAToporkova MGMaleev VVHumans infected with relapsing fever spirochete Borrelia miyamotoi, Russia. Emerg Infect Dis2011;17:181623DOIPubMed
  4. Krause PJFish DNarasimhan SBarbour AGBorrelia miyamotoi infection in nature and in humans. Clin Microbiol Infect2015;21:6319DOIPubMed
  5. Molloy PJTelford SR IIIChowdri HRLepore TJGugliotta JLWeeks KEBorrelia miyamotoi disease in the northeastern United States: a case series.Ann Intern Med2015;163:918DOIPubMed
  6. Sarksyan DSPlatonov AEKaran LSMalinin IEKhalitova LIShakhov VIClinical presentation of “new” tick-borne borreliosis caused by Borrelia miyamotoi [in Russian]Ter Arkh2012;84:3441 .PubMed
  7. Immunoassay for differential detection of class M and G antibodies to the agents of Ixodes tick-borne borreliosis (Lyme disease) [in Russian] [cited 2015 Sep 7].
  8. Estimated true prevalence using one test with a Gibbs sampler [cited 2015 Sep 7].
  9. Hofhuis AHerremans TNotermans DWSprong HFonville Mvan der Giessen JWA prospective study among patients presenting at the general practitioner with a tick bite or erythema migrans in the Netherlands. PLoS ONE2013;8:e64361DOIPubMed
  10. Huegli DMoret JRais OMoosmann YErard PMalinverni R, Prospective study on the incidence of infection by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato after a tick bite in a highly endemic area of Switzerland. Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2011;2:129–36.

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