First insights into the microbiome of Tunisian Hyalomma ticks gained through next-generation sequencing with a special focus on H. scupense
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Hayet Ben Yedem, Abdelmalek Lekired, Moez Mhadhbi, Mokhtar Dhibi, Rihab Romdhane, Soufiene Chaari, Mourad Rekik, Hadda-Imene Ouzari, Tarek Hajji, Mohamed Aziz Darghouth. (29/10/2021). First insights into the microbiome of Tunisian Hyalomma ticks gained through next-generation sequencing with a special focus on H. scupense.
Ticks are one of the most important vectors of several pathogens affecting humans and animals. In addition to pathogens, ticks carry diverse microbiota ofsymbiotic and commensal microorganisms. In this study, we have studied the first Tunisian insight into the microbial composition and microbiota diversity, richness, and their variation between the most dominant Hyalomma species infesting Tunisian cattle, male and female as well as between different life stages of H. scupense. In this regard, Next Generation sequencing for the 16S rRNA (V3- V4 region) and metagenomic analysis were established. the analysis of the bacterial diversity reveals that H. marginatum and H. excavatum have greater diversity than H. scupense. Furthermore, microbial diversity and composition vary according to the tick's life stage and sex in the specific case of H.scupense. The endosymbionts Francisella, Canditatus Midichloria, and Rickettsia were shown to be the most prevalent in Hyalomma. Rickettsia, Francisella, Ehrlichia, and Erwinia are the most common zoonotic bacteria found in Hyalomma ticks. According to our findings, all studied Hyalomma tick species possess zoonotic bacteria genera and could potentially operate as vectors for various zoonoses