Combining Citizen Science and Genomics to Investigate Tick, Pathogen, and Commensal Microbiome at Single-Tick Resolution

The prevalence of tickborne diseases worldwide is increasing virtually unchecked due to the lack of effective control strategies. The transmission dynamics of tickborne pathogens are influenced by the tick microbiome, tick co-infection with other pathogens, and environmental features. Understanding this complex system could lead to new strategies for pathogen control, but will require large-scale, high-resolution data. Here, we introduce Project Acari, a citizen science-based project to assay, at single-tick resolution, species, pathogen infection status, microbiome profile, and environmental conditions of tens of thousands of ticks collected from numerous sites across the United States. In the first phase of the project, we collected more than 2,400 ticks wild-caught by citizen scientists and developed high-throughput methods to process and sequence them individually. Applying these methods to 192 Ixodes scapularis ticks collected in a region with a high incidence of Lyme disease, we found that 62% were colonized by Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease pathogen. In contrast to previous reports, we did not find an association between the microbiome diversity of a tick and its probability of carrying B. burgdorferi. However, we did find undescribed associations between B. burgdorferi carriage and the presence of specific microbial taxa within individual ticks. Our findings underscore the power of coupling citizen science with high-throughput processing to reveal pathogen dyn...
Source: Frontiers in Genetics - Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

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is the most common tick-borne illness in the USA and Europe. Pathogens involved include Borrelia burgdorferi in the USA and B. afzelii and B. garinii in Europe. The characteristic rash of erythema migrans occurs in 70 –80% of patients. Neurological disease, including facial palsy, meningo-encephalitis, aseptic meningitis and polyradiculopathy, occurs in 10–15%. Cardiac disease, primarily manifest as heart block, is seen in 1–4%. Arthritis is a late complication in about 30% of untreated patients.
Source: Medicine - Category: Internal Medicine Authors: Tags: Bacterial infections Source Type: research
Radiologia (Engl Ed). 2021 Sep-Oct;63(5):425-435. doi: 10.1016/j.rxeng.2021.07.002.ABSTRACTInfections of the central nervous system caused by atypical bacteria are becoming more common. Borrelia burgdorferi and Rickettsia conorii are microorganisms transmitted by ticks; infection with these bacteria result in a wide spectrum of manifestations on imaging. In areas where these tick-borne microorganisms are endemic, including Spain, these infections must be included in the differential diagnosis of patients with a variety of systemic and neurologic symptoms. The clinical presentation of these infections is nonspecific, and CT...
Source: Radiologia - Category: Radiology Authors: Source Type: research
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