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ISME J. 2013 May;7(5):1003-15. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2012.171. Epub 2013 Jan 10.

A novel approach, based on BLSOMs (Batch Learning Self-Organizing Maps), to the microbiome analysis of ticks.

Author information

1
Division of Collaboration and Education, Research Center for Zoonosis Control, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan.

Erratum in

  • ISME J. 2014 Aug;8(8):1752.

Abstract

Ticks transmit a variety of viral, bacterial and protozoal pathogens, which are often zoonotic. The aim of this study was to identify diverse tick microbiomes, which may contain as-yet unidentified pathogens, using a metagenomic approach. DNA prepared from bacteria/archaea-enriched fractions obtained from seven tick species, namely Amblyomma testudinarium, Amblyomma variegatum, Haemaphysalis formosensis, Haemaphysalis longicornis, Ixodes ovatus, Ixodes persulcatus and Ixodes ricinus, was subjected to pyrosequencing after whole-genome amplification. The resulting sequence reads were phylotyped using a Batch Learning Self-Organizing Map (BLSOM) program, which allowed phylogenetic estimation based on similarity of oligonucleotide frequencies, and functional annotation by BLASTX similarity searches. In addition to bacteria previously associated with human/animal diseases, such as Anaplasma, Bartonella, Borrelia, Ehrlichia, Francisella and Rickettsia, BLSOM analysis detected microorganisms belonging to the phylum Chlamydiae in some tick species. This was confirmed by pan-Chlamydia PCR and sequencing analysis. Gene sequences associated with bacterial pathogenesis were also identified, some of which were suspected to originate from horizontal gene transfer. These efforts to construct a database of tick microbes may lead to the ability to predict emerging tick-borne diseases. Furthermore, a comprehensive understanding of tick microbiomes will be useful for understanding tick biology, including vector competency and interactions with pathogens and symbionts.

PMID:
23303373
PMCID:
PMC3635243
DOI:
10.1038/ismej.2012.171
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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