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New molecular biology detection methods for tick-borne infectious agents.

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Tick-borne zoonotic pathogens are well known in many areas all over the world. Among the tick-borne transmitted diseases in Switzerland,
Lyme disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, ehrlichiosis caused by various species of Ehrlichia and tick-borne encephalitis caused by the tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) are the most important zoonotic diseases. Early diagnosis and treatment is necessary to prevent fatal infections and chronic damage to various tissues. Due to the variety of uncharacteristic clinical signs, tick-borne diseases are not easily recognized. Diagnosis is based on clinical findings, a record of tick exposure, and direct or indirect detection of the pathogen. Here we discuss briefly the most important tick-borne infections and their diagnosis with emphasis on a new molecular diagnostic tool–the real-time TaqMan PCR–and its importance for the diagnosis of tick-borne pathogens.

Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd. 2002 Aug;144(8):395-404. English Abstract; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t; Review

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