The presence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. and of Ehrlichia phagocytophila group was sought by PCR in Ixodes ricinus collected in a protected area of central Italy. Nymphs (n = 1475, gathered in 295 pools of 5 nymphs each) and adult ticks (n = 28) were examined. B. burgdorferi s.l. was detected in 13.8% of the nymph pools; of these, 63.4% were infected by B. valaisiana, 26.8% by B. afzelii, 7.3% by B. garinii, and 2.5% by B. burgdorferi s.s. Only a single adult male tick proved to host B. afzelii. The agent of human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) was detected in 2.7% of the nymph pools. Two HGE agent-positive nymph pools were also found to be positive for B. garinii and for B. afzelii, respectively. This is the first report from central Italy of the finding of the HGE agent in ticks.
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