Microbiome analysis of Ixodes scapularis ticks from New York and Connecticut

*Tokarz R, Tagliafierro T, Sameroff S, Cucura DM, Oleynik A, Che X, Jain K, Lipkin WI./Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases/, 2019 Apr 15. pii: S1877-959X(19)30033-0.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2019.04.011


We employed high throughput sequencing to survey the microbiomes of
Ixodes scapularis collected in New York and Connecticut. We examined 197
individual I. scapularis adults and pools from 132 adults and 197 nymphs.
We detected:

  • Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto in 56.3%
  • A filarial nematode was found in 13.7% of adult ticks
  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum in 10.6%
  • Babesia microti in 7.6%
  • Borrelia miyamotoi in 5%
  • Powassan virus in 3.6%
  • Fourteen viruses were detected including South Bay virus (22%) and blacklegged tick phlebovirus 1 and 2 (73%)

We did not detect Borrelia mayonii, Ehrlichia muris eauclairensis, Bartonella spp. or pathogenic  Babesia species other than B. microti.

The most abundant bacterium(65%), and only rickettsial species identified, was the endosymbiont Rickettsia buchneri.

This study provides insight into the microbial diversity of I.scapularis in New York State and Connecticut.



Nematodes (worms) have been found to hide borrelia spirochetes:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/06/03/borrelia-hiding-in-worms-causing-chronic-brain-diseases/  This is important from the standpoint that it shows anthelmintics may be helpful in some patients.