Isolation of a spirochete from the soft tick, Ornithodoros coriaceus: a possible agent of epizootic bovine abortion

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Science  04 Oct 1985:
Vol. 230, Issue 4721, pp. 85-87
DOI: 10.1126/science.3898367


A Borrelia-like spirochete was detected in all three parasitic stages of Ornithodoros coriaceus, the soft tick implicated in the epizoology of epizootic bovine abortion. After the spirochete had been isolated, its distinctness from other North American tick-borne borreliae as well as from Spirochaeta aurantia, Treponema pallidum, and Leptospira interrogans serovar pomona was established on the basis of its morphology, protein components, and inability to infect mice. The spirochete is passed trans-stadially and via eggs by ticks, and it is also excreted in coxal fluid after ticks have fed and detached. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the spirochete may be causally related to epizootic bovine abortion.