College of Veterinary Medicine
Ticks are important vectors of human and animal pathogens. They are also known to carry endosymbionts, which play a role in tick physiology and pathogen carriage as well. While there is an increasing body of knowledge about these bacterial populations in ticks globally, little has been done to examine these dynamics among ticks from Africa. This study seeks to examine the microbiome of ticks from cattle and goats in East Africa, and its impact on bacterial pathogen carriage in ticks. Many tick-associated human illnesses remain undiagnosed and the prevalence, diversity, and pathogenicity of novel tick-borne agents in these settings is poorly understood, underscoring the need for ongoing microbial surveillance in tick vectors as potent pathways for febrile illnesses in human hosts.