Population genetics and phylogenetic analysis of Colorado Borrelia burgdorferi.

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  • 1 Department of Microbiology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins 80523, USA.
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Borrelia burgdorferi is transmitted in an enzootic cycle in Colorado between the tick Ixodes spinipalpis and the woodrat Neotoma mexicana. The genetic relationship of Colorado isolates to other B. burgdorferi isolates is unknown nor have relationships among various Colorado isolates been determined. Portions of the flagellin (fla), 66-kD protein, and outer surface protein A (ospA) genes were amplified from 71 Colorado isolates, screened for genetic variability using single strand conformation polymorphism analysis, and unique alleles were sequenced. Colorado isolates were most similar to tick isolates from California and New York isolate 25015. Genetic distances among Colorado ospA sequences were the same or higher than distances among other isolates whereas distances among fla sequences tended to be the same or lower. The index of association (I(A)) was calculated among all loci as a measure of clonality. The I(A) among Colorado isolates was similar to I(A) previously estimated among other United States isolates.

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