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In a survey of game animals and small mammals, the sera of 185 animals were examined for the presence of immunoglobulin G antibodies to the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, which causes
Lyme borreliosis. These animals comprised 59 fallow deer (Dama dama), 56 mouflons (Ovis musimon) and 70 small mammals of six different species. The sera of the fallow deer and the mouflons were examined by indirect haemagglutination assay. The sera of the small mammals were examined by modified enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, which is available in a commercial kit. The sera of the 59 fallow deer demonstrated positivity of 40.77% (titres 1:40-1:80). The 56 mouflons demonstrated seropositivity of 17.8% (1:40-1:80). The sera of the small mammals were highly positive in the yellow-necked field mouse (Apodemus flavicollis) at 42.1% (titres 1:200-1:1,600), followed by the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) at 14.3% (1:400-1:800), the common vole (Microtus arvalis) at 12.5% (1:200) and the black-striped field mouse (A. agrarius) at 10.0% (1:200-1:400-800). The authors also report the rate of infestation of these small mammals by the tick Ixodes ricinus, as these mammal species are potential reservoirs for this vector. The study focuses on the relationship between the possibility of infestation by I. ricinus and the reservoir competence of the different species under study, as well as the possible spread of
disease. The detected rate of seroprevalence indicates that all the investigated animals have had contact with infected ticks.