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First report of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in two threatened carnivores: the Marbled polecat, Vormela peregusna and the European mink, Mustela lutreola (Mammalia: Mustelidae)

Călin M Gherman1, Attila D Sándor12*, Zsuzsa Kalmár1, Mihai Marinov3 and Andrei D Mihalca1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Calea Mănăștur 3-5, Cluj-Napoca, 400372, Romania

2 Department of Taxonomy and Ecology, Babeş-Bolyai University, Faculty of Biology, Strada Clinicilor 5-7, Cluj-Napoca, 400006, Romania

3 Danube Delta National Institute for Research and Development, Strada Babadag 165, Tulcea, 820112, Romania

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BMC Veterinary Research 2012, 8:137  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-137

Published: 18 August 2012



Lyme disease is a widespread cosmopolitan zoonosis caused by species belonging to the genus Borrelia. It is transmitted from animal reservoir hosts to humans through hard - ticks of genus Ixodes which are vectors of the disease.

Case presentation

Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infection was identified in a marbled polecat, Vormela peregusna, and two European minks, Mustela lutreola, from Romania, by PCR. RFLP revealed the presence of a single genospecies, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto.


This is the first report of the Lyme disease spirochetes in the two mentioned hosts.

Borrelia burgdorferi s.s; First report; Mustela lutreola; Vormela peregusna; Romania