Surveillance and Molecular Identification of Borrelia Species in Ticks Collected at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, Republic of Korea, 2018-2019

Seung Ho Lee, Sung Tae Chong, Heung Chul Kim, Terry A. Klein, Kyungmin Park, Jingyeong Lee, Jeong Ah Kim, Won Keun Kim, Jin Won Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Tick-borne pathogens are contributing factors for the increased incidence of vector-borne diseases throughout the world, including Lyme borreliosis, one of the most prevalent spirochetes belonging to the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato group. The present study focused on the detection of Borrelia species from hard ticks collected at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, Republic of Korea (ROK), using molecular and genotypic analyses. Tick-borne disease surveillance was conducted from January to December, 2018-2019. A total of 24,281 ticks (2 genera and 5 species) were collected from road-killed Korean Water deer (KWD) and by tick drag. Haemaphysalis longicornis (92.0%) was the most commonly collected species, followed by Haemaphysalis flava (4.9%), Ixodes nipponensis (3.1%), Haemaphysalis phasiana (0.07%), and Haemaphysalis japonica (<0.01%). The ospA gene sequences of Borrelia afzelii were detected in 12/529 pools of I. nipponensis. Three and one pools were positive for B. afzelii and Borrelia miyamotoi, respectively, using the 16s rRNA gene. None of the pools of Haemaphysalis ticks collected from KWD or by tick drag were positive for Borrelia species. I. nipponensis was collected throughout the year from KWD and from February to November by tick drag, suggesting that they were active throughout the year, and expanding the risk period for acquiring Lyme borreliosis and Borrelia relapsing fever in the ROK. This study assessed disease risk factors associated with the prevalence of Lyme disease in ticks collected from KWD and by tick drag using molecular analysis. These results provide an understanding and awareness into the prevalence and molecular characteristics of Borrelia species in the ROK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 1


  • Borrelia afzelii
  • Borrelia miyamotoi
  • Ixodes nipponensis
  • Korean water deer
  • tick

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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