Metagenomic exploration of endosymbionts and pathogens in the tropical lineage of Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (s.l.) ticks in Colombia

Luisa Paez-Triana, Giovanny Herrera, Laura Vega, Diego García-Corredor, Martin Orlando Pulido Medellín, Alberto Paniz-Mondolfi, Marina Muñoz, Juan David Ramírez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (s.l.), commonly known as the domestic dog tick, is a globally distributed tick. This species plays a significant role in human and animal health, as well as in economy due to its ability to infest livestock. The use of shotgun metagenomics has proven valuable in identifying tick-borne pathogens and key members of the tick microbiome, including endosymbionts. However, the application of shotgun metagenomics in R. sanguineus s.l. ticks in Latin America remains largely unexplored. Therefore, our objective aimed to explore and further analyze the metagenome of the tropical lineage of R. sanguineus s.l. ticks in Colombia. Through our analysis, we identified the three most prevalent pathogens harbored by these ticks, namely: Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Francisella tularensis, and Theileria equi. However, the most abundant microorganism detected was not a pathogen but the endosymbiont Coxiella mudrowiae. Interestingly, Coxiella mudrowiae exhibited significant negative correlations with several pathogens and other endosymbionts. Furthermore, we successfully constructed 27 medium-quality metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) for this microorganism, enabling us to conduct a pangenome analysis by comparing them with available genomes and identifying proteins of interest, such as those involved in vitamin B synthesis. This study represents the first implementation of shotgun metagenomics as a methodology to expand our understanding of pathogens and endosymbionts in the circulating tropical lineage of R. sanguineus s.l. ticks in Colombia. The findings of this research serve as a foundation for the development of prevention and mitigation strategies against pathogens transmitted by this tick species. Information gained from this study can contribute to the improvement of public health measures and veterinary practices aimed at controlling the impact of tick-borne diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-304
Number of pages32
JournalMetabarcoding and Metagenomics
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Insect Science

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