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Reminder of important clinical lesson
Molecular identification of Borrelia crocidurae in a patient returning from Senegal
  1. Matthieu Million1,
  2. Cécile Cazorla2,
  3. Barbara Doudier2,
  4. Bernard La Scola1,3,
  5. Philippe Parola1,2,
  6. Michel Drancourt1,3,
  7. Philippe Brouqui1,2
  1. 1
    Faculté de médecine, Unité des rickettsies—CNRS URMITE 6236, 27, Bd Jean Moulin, Marseille, 13385, France
  2. 2
    Hopital Nord, Service de maladies infectieuses, chemin Bourrely, Marseille, 13015, France
  3. 3
    CHU Timone, Fédération de microbiologie, 264 rue saint Pierre, Marseille, 13005, France
  1. matthieumillion{at}


Borrelia spp. are pathogens responsible for worldwide tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF). In West Africa, TBRF is due to a single species, Borrelia crocidurae, transmitted by the soft-body tick Ornithodoros sonrai. We report a case of B crocidurae infection in a French tourist in Senegal, diagnosed by molecular biology using 16S rDNA, flaB, and the 16S–23S intergenic spacer. We found six imported cases reported in travellers (since 1999). We review here clinical and molecular aspects and pathophysiology, and discuss diagnostic methods and therapeutic regimens. In the coming years, this emerging disease will be of concern to more and more travellers returning from disease-endemic regions. Thus, physicians must be aware of its presentation and diagnosis, since the spontaneous outcome can be severe, and a simple treatment is effective.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Patient consent: Patient/guardian consent was obtained for publication