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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in rodents from Gansu, northwestern China

Fang Zhang, Zhanwei Gong, Jijun Zhang and Zengjia Liu*

Author Affiliations

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Lanzhou Command, PLA, 509 Dong-Gang Dong Road, Chenguan District, Lanzhou 730020, PR China

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BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:157  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-10-157

Published: 28 May 2010



Lyme disease is a multi-organ infection disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. Lyme disease was first documented in north-east China in 1986. Since then more than 20 provinces in China were confirmed the existence of nature foci of Lyme disease. In the present study, a molecular epidemiological survey was conducted to investigate the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in rodents from Gansu Province for the first time.


A total of 140 rodents of 7 species were examined for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. by nested-PCR and culture isolation. The overall infection rate was 22.86%. Two rodent species most frequently trapped were responsible for all positive. 3 strains were isolated from Apodemus agrarius, which belonged to B. garinii, 1 strain isolated from Rattus losea was identified as B. afzelii.


The study firstly showed the role of rodents in maintaining the pathogen of Lyme disease in the environment from Gansu Province and there existed at least two genotypes of Lyme disease spirochaetes in rodents.