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The scale affects our view on the identification and distribution of microbial communities in ticks

Authors
  • Pollet, Thomas1
  • Sprong, Hein2
  • Lejal, Emilie1
  • Krawczyk, Aleksandra I.2, 3
  • Moutailler, Sara1
  • Cosson, Jean-Francois1
  • Vayssier-Taussat, Muriel4
  • Estrada-Peña, Agustín5
  • 1 Université Paris-Est, Maisons-Alfort, France , Maisons-Alfort (France)
  • 2 National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands , Bilthoven (Netherlands)
  • 3 Wageningen University and Research Centre, Wageningen, The Netherlands , Wageningen (Netherlands)
  • 4 INRAE, Animal Health Department, Nouzilly, France , Nouzilly (France)
  • 5 University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain , Zaragoza (Spain)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Parasites & Vectors
Publisher
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Jan 21, 2020
Volume
13
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s13071-020-3908-7
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Ticks transmit the highest variety of pathogens impacting human and animal health worldwide. It is now well established that ticks also harbour a microbial complex of coexisting symbionts, commensals and pathogens. With the development of high throughput sequencing technologies, studies dealing with such diverse bacterial composition in tick considerably increased in the past years and revealed an unexpected microbial diversity. These data on diversity and composition of the tick microbes are increasingly available, giving crucial details on microbial communities in ticks and improving our knowledge on the tick microbial community. However, consensus is currently lacking as to which scales (tick organs, individual specimens or species, communities of ticks, populations adapted to particular environmental conditions, spatial and temporal scales) best facilitate characterizing microbial community composition of ticks and understanding the diverse relationships among tick-borne bacteria. Temporal or spatial scales have a clear influence on how we conduct ecological studies, interpret results, and understand interactions between organisms that build the microbiome. We consider that patterns apparent at one scale can collapse into noise when viewed from other scales, indicating that processes shaping tick microbiome have a continuum of variability that has not yet been captured. Based on available reports, this review demonstrates how much the concept of scale is crucial to be considered in tick microbial community studies to improve our knowledge on tick microbe ecology and pathogen/microbiota interactions.

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