Introduction and objective:
Ixodes ricinus (I. ricinus) and Dermacentor reticulatus (D. reticulatus) are the most common ticks in Poland. These ticks contain many bacteria, which compose a microbiome with potential impact on humans. The aim of the study was to discover the microbiome of ticks in Poland.

Material and methods:
Ticks were collected in The Protected Landscape Area of the Bug and Nurzec Valley, Poland, in 2016–2018 by flagging. They were cleaned in 70% ethanol and damaged in mortar with PBS (without Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions). DNA was extracted from the homogenates with spin columns kits, and used as a matrix in end-point PCR for bacterial 16S rRNA fragments amplifications, and further for next generation sequencing (NGS) by ILLUMINA.

In 22 ticks (3 I. ricinus and 19 D. reticulatus) 38 microorganisms were detected. The most common were Francisella hispaniensis and Francisella novicida. In 17 ticks, Sphingomonas oligophenolica, and in 12 Rickettsia aeshlimanii were found. In 2, I. ricinus specific DNA of Borrelia americana and Borrelia carolinensis were found. In one female, D. reticulatus Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Anaplasma centrale were found. Pseudomonas lutea and Ps. moraviensis were detected in 9 and 8 ticks, respectively.

Polish ticks microbiome contains not only well-known tick-borne pathogens, but also other pathogenic microorganisms. For the first time in Poland, Borrelia americana and Borrelia carolinensis in I. ricinus collected from the environment were detected. The dominant pathogenic microorganisms for humans were Francisella spp. and Rickettsia spp., and non-pathogenic – Sphingomonas oligophenolica. Knowledge of a tick microbiome might be useful in tick-borne biocontrol and tick-borne diseases prevention.

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