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The aim of the study was to investigate Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) infection in horses exposed to heavy tick infestations. Blood samples of 98 healthy horses from 5 stud farms were examined by SNAP(®) 4D× and PCR to detect antibodies against B. burgdorferi s.l. and Borrelia DNA, respectively. Ten samples (15.3%) were antibody positive and 5 samples (5.1%) were both antibody and PCR positive. Sequence analysis showed the highest homology with the B. lusitaniae genospecies. No differences were found between sexes and stud farms, while age was significantly related to seropositivity (p<0.05). Our data confirms the presence of B. lusitaniae infection in horses, previously not clearly demonstrated.
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