iSeq 100 for metagenomic pathogen screening in ticks

Ju Yeong Kim, Myung hee Yi, Alghurabi Areej Sabri Mahdi, Tai Soon Yong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Ticks are blood-sucking ectoparasites that play a pivotal role in the transmission of various pathogens to humans and animals. In Korea, Haemaphysalis longicornis is the predominant tick species and is recognized as the vector of pathogens causing various diseases such as babesiosis, borreliosis, rickettsiosis, and severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome. Methods: In this study, the targeted high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA V4 region was performed using the state-of-the-art sequencing instrument, iSeq 100, to screen bacterial pathogens in H. longicornis, and the findings were compared with those using conventional PCR with specific primers. Microbiome analyses were performed with EzBioCloud, a commercially available ChunLab bioinformatics cloud platform. ANOVA-Like Differential Expression tool (ALDEx2) was used for differential abundance analysis. Results: Rickettsia spp. were detected in 16 out of 37 samples using iSeq 100, and this was confirmed using a PCR assay. In the phylogenetic analysis using gltA and ompA sequences of the detected Rickettsia, the highest sequence similarity was found with ‘Candidatus Rickettsia jingxinensis’ isolate Xian-Hl-79, ‘Ca. R. jingxinensis’ isolate F18, and ‘Ca. R. longicornii‘ isolate ROK-HL727. In the microbiome study, Coxiella AB001519, a known tick symbiont, was detected in all 37 tick samples. Actinomycetospora chiangmaiensis was more abundant in Rickettsia-positive samples than in Rickettsia-negative samples. Conclusions: In this study, iSeq 100 was used to investigate the microbiome of H. longicornis, and the potentially pathogenic Rickettsia strain was detected in 16 out of 37 ticks. We believe that this approach will aid in large-scale pathogen screening of arthropods to be used in vector-borne disease control programs. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number346
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean Government (MEST; Numbers NRF-2019R1A2B5B01069843, 2020R1I1A2074562 and 2020R1I1A1A0105358211).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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