Microbial composition in Hyalomma anatolicum collected from livestock in the United Arab Emirates using next-generation sequencing

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Background: Hyalomma anatolicum is a widely distributed tick species that acts as a vector transmitting tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) in livestock. Such pathogens affect the health of livestock and consequently reduce their productivity. Knowledge about the microbial communities (pathogens and endosymbionts) of ticks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is scarce. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to quantify microbial diversity in H. anatolicum using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. Methods: Hyalomma anatolicum ticks were collected from livestock in the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah in the UAE during 2019. DNA was extracted from 175 male ticks sampled from livestock (n = 78) and subjected to NGS. The 16S rRNA gene was analyzed using the Illumina MiSeq platform to determine the bacterial communities. Principal coordinates analysis (PCA) was performed to identify patterns of diversity in the bacterial communities. Results: Twenty-six bacterial families with high relative abundance were identified, of which the most common were Staphylococcaceae, Francisellaceae, Corynebacteriaceae, Enterobacteriaceae, Moraxellaceae, Bacillaceae, Halomonadaceae, Xanthomonadaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, Enterococcaceae, Actinomycetaceae and Streptococcaceae. The diversity of the microbial communities in terms of richness and evenness was different at the three study locations, with the PCA showing clear clusters separating the microbial communities in ticks collected at Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah. The presence of bacterial families harboring pathogenic genera showed that H. anatolicum could pose a potential threat to livestock and food security in the UAE. Conclusions: The study is the first to document important data on the microbial communities associated with H. anatolicum in the UAE. This knowledge will facilitate a better understanding of the distribution pattern of microbes in livestock ticks in the UAE and, ultimately, will aid in deciphering the relationships between microbes and in the exploration of potential factors towards developing effective management strategies. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • 16S rRNA gene
  • Hyalomma anatolicum
  • Livestock
  • Microbial communities
  • Pathogens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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