Comparative microbiomes of ticks collected from a black rhino and its surrounding environment

Seogwon Lee, Ju Yeong Kim, Myung hee Yi, In Yong Lee, Robert Fyumagwa, Tai Soon Yong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

‘Eliska,’ an endangered black rhino (Diceros bicornis), died suddenly in Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania in 2016. Three Amblyomma gemma ticks were collected from Eliska's body, and four ticks were collected from the surrounding field. We conducted 16S rRNA targeted high-throughput sequencing to evaluate the overall composition of bacteria in the ticks' microbiomes and investigate whether the ticks could be the cause of Eliska's death. The ticks collected from Eliska's body and the field were found to differ in their bacterial composition. Bacillus chungangensis and B. pumilus were the most commonly found bacteria in the ticks collected from the field, and B. cereus and Lysinibacillus sphaericus were the most commonly found in the ticks collected from Eliska's body. The abundance was higher in the ticks collected from the field. In contrast, the equity was higher in the ticks collected from Eliska's body. No known pathogenic bacteria that could explain Eliska's sudden death were found in any of the ticks. The differences between the microbiome of ticks collected from Eliska's body and from the field indicate that the microbiome of ticks' changes through the consumption of blood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-243
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Infectious Diseases

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