Examining the gut microbiota from several human-biting tick species in Northwestern Spain

Giovanny Herrera, María Carmen Vieira Lista, Luisa Páez-Triana, Antonio Muro, Julio López-Abán, Marina Muñoz, Juan David Ramírez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tick-borne diseases have increased significantly in Europe and Spain in recent years. One strategy explored for tick surveillance and control is the study of the microbiota. The focus is on understanding the relationships between pathogens and endosymbionts within the microbiota and how these relationships can alter these arthropods' vectorial capacity. Thus, it is pivotal to depict the bacterial communities composing the microbiota of ticks present in specific territories. This work aimed to describe the microbiota present in 29 adult individuals of 5 tick species collected from 4 provinces of Castilla y Leon in northwestern Spain from 2015 to 2022. DNA extraction and sequencing of the V4 hypervariable region of 16S-rRNA was performed on the tick samples, with subsequent analysis of diversity, taxonomic composition, and correlations between genera of microorganisms. There were no differences in the alpha diversity of microbiota by tick species, nor were compositional changes evident at the phylum level for microorganisms. However, interindividual differences at the microbial genus level allowed spatial differentiation of the 5 tick species included in the study. Correlation analyses showed complex interactions between different genera of microbiota members. These findings provide an initial insight into the composition of the gut microbiota of various tick species in northwestern Spain, which can contribute to establishing surveillance and control measures to reduce diseases such as rickettsiosis, Lyme disease, and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1087
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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