Tick Microbiome Composition, Interactions and Molecular Detection: A Review
Department of Animal Sciences and Health, Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Marondera, Zimbabwe
*Corresponding Author: Stephen Mandara, Department of Animal Sciences and Health, Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Marondera, Zimbabwe.
January 17, 2023; Published: February 06, 2023
Ticks have been known to carry pathogenic organisms responsible for several diseases of livestock and humans. Together with pathogens, ticks also contain other microorganisms of various species, called endosymbionts. Knowledge on these endosymbionts and their role in transmission of pathogens by ticks however remains scant. This review aims to reveal those pathogens and endosymbionts that constitute the microbiome of ticks with a focus on tick species predominant in sub-Saharan Africa. The range of pathogens transmitted by ticks includes viruses, bacteria, and parasites. The diverse range of tick-transmitted bacteria includes the genera Borrelia, Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma and Coxiella. Ticks also harbour another group of symbiotic microorganisms that includes some Rickettsia, Coxiella, Francisella and Wolbachia. These symbiotic microorganisms have been found to have important roles in their host tick’s development, reproduction, immunity and handling of environmental stress. Recent developments in metageniomics offer hope of better identification and understanding of tick microbiota. More knowledge on this subject can potentially help in reaching novel tick borne disease prevention and control methods by targeting the endosymbionts. In the long run, this might help lessen the burden of ticks and tick borne diseases on the livestock sector in sub-Saharan Africa.
Keywords: Ticks; Microorganisms; Endosymbionts; Microbiome; Sub-Saharan Africa
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