Two boundaries separate Borrelia burgdorferi populations in North America

G. Margos, J. I. Tsao, S. Castillo-ramirez, Y. A. Girard, S. A. Hamer, A. G. Hoen, R. S. Lane, S. L. Raper, N. H. Ogden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding the spread of infectious diseases is crucial for implementing effective control measures. For this, it is important to obtain information on the contemporary population structure of a disease agent and to infer the evolutionary processes that may have shaped it. Here, we investigate on a continental scale the population structure of Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis (LB), a tick-borne disease, in North America. We test the hypothesis that the observed population structure is congruent with recent population expansions and that these were preceded by bottlenecks mostly likely caused by the near extirpation in the 1900s of hosts required for sustaining tick populations. Multilocus sequence typing and complementary population analytical tools were used to evaluate B. burgdorferi samples collected in the Northeastern, Upper Midwestern, and Far-Western United States and Canada. The spatial distribution of sequence types (STs) and inferred population boundaries suggest that the current populations are geographically separated. One major population boundary separated western B. burgdorferi populations transmitted by Ixodes pacificus in California from Eastern populations transmitted by I. scapularis; the other divided Midwestern and Northeastern populations. However, populations from all three regions were genetically closely related. Together, our findings suggest that although the contemporary populations of North American B. burgdorferi now comprise three geographically separated subpopulations with no or limited gene flow among them, they arose from a common ancestral population. A comparative analysis of the B. burgdorferi outer surface protein C (ospC) gene revealed novel linkages and provides additional insights into the genetic characteristics of strains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6059-6067
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume78
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012

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Borrelia burgdorferi
North America
population structure
tick
Population
infectious disease
subpopulation
gene flow
spatial distribution
protein
gene
Ixodes pacificus
tick-borne diseases
Ixodes scapularis
Lyme disease
Western United States
Tick-Borne Diseases
surface proteins
Multilocus Sequence Typing
Ixodes

Cite this

Margos, G., Tsao, J. I., Castillo-ramirez, S., Girard, Y. A., Hamer, S. A., Hoen, A. G., ... Ogden, N. H. (2012). Two boundaries separate Borrelia burgdorferi populations in North America. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 78(17), 6059-6067. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00231-12

Two boundaries separate Borrelia burgdorferi populations in North America. / Margos, G.; Tsao, J. I.; Castillo-ramirez, S.; Girard, Y. A.; Hamer, S. A.; Hoen, A. G.; Lane, R. S.; Raper, S. L.; Ogden, N. H.

In: Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 78, No. 17, 01.09.2012, p. 6059-6067.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Margos, G, Tsao, JI, Castillo-ramirez, S, Girard, YA, Hamer, SA, Hoen, AG, Lane, RS, Raper, SL & Ogden, NH 2012, 'Two boundaries separate Borrelia burgdorferi populations in North America', Applied and Environmental Microbiology, vol. 78, no. 17, pp. 6059-6067. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00231-12
Margos G, Tsao JI, Castillo-ramirez S, Girard YA, Hamer SA, Hoen AG et al. Two boundaries separate Borrelia burgdorferi populations in North America. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 2012 Sep 1;78(17):6059-6067. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00231-12
Margos, G. ; Tsao, J. I. ; Castillo-ramirez, S. ; Girard, Y. A. ; Hamer, S. A. ; Hoen, A. G. ; Lane, R. S. ; Raper, S. L. ; Ogden, N. H. / Two boundaries separate Borrelia burgdorferi populations in North America. In: Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 2012 ; Vol. 78, No. 17. pp. 6059-6067.
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