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In 2000 and 2001, a survey was conducted of Borrelia isolated from various mammals in the southernmost islands of Japan, including Okinawa (main island), Izena, Iriomote and Ishigaki. Isolates obtained from the ear tissues of Suncus murinus (10 isolates), Mus calori (four isolates), Rattus norvegicus (one isolate) and Crocidura watasei (one isolate), were characterized by RFLP of the 5S-23S rDNA intergenic spacer and sequence analysis of the intergenic spacer, 16S rDNA and flagellin gene. While these isolates showed identical RFLPs to Borrelia valaisiana found in Korea, Taiwan and the southern and central parts of China, their RFLP patterns differed from those of B. valaisiana found in European countries, and strain Am501 isolated from Ixodes columnae in Japan. It was found that these isolates clustered with each other on a phylogenetic tree based on flagellin gene and 16S rDNA sequences, but were relatively divergent from the European B. valaisiana and strain Am501. These findings suggest that these isolates found in East Asia should be classified as a new genomospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato.