In the present study, the effectiveness of six antimicrobial agents have been tested against 24 borrelia strains isolated from Ixodes ricinus ticks (11 Borrelia lusitaniae, eight Borrelia afzelii, three Borrelia garinii and two Borrelia valaisiana) and one B. lusitaniae strain isolated from human skin. The minimum inhibitory concentration range of antimicrobial agents was as follows: amoxicillin, 0.125-2 mg/L; doxycycline, 0.125-1 mg/L, ceftriaxone, 0.016-0.063 mg/L; cefuroxime, 0.063-1 mg/L; azithromycin, 0.0017-0.11 mg/L; amikacin 32-512 mg/L. Potentially pathogenic B. lusitaniae and B. valaisiana species were more susceptible to amoxicillin and azithromycin than pathogenic B. afzelii and B. garinii (P < 0.05); B. garinii, B. lusitaniae and B. valaisiana were more susceptible to doxycycline than B. afzelii (P < 0.05) while all species showed same susceptibility to ceftriaxone and cefuroxime (P > 0.05). This study is the first report on in vitro susceptibility of isolates from Serbia to antimicrobial agents and the first report on susceptibility of larger number of isolates of potentially pathogenic species B. lusitaniae. We showed that antimicrobial agents in vitro inhibit growth of borrelia strains very effectively, indicating the potential of their equally beneficial use in the treatment of Lyme borreliosis.
Keywords: Borrelia; Lyme borreliosis; antimicrobial agents; in vitro susceptibility; treatment.