Rhipicephalus microplus is recognized as a tick species highly prevalent in cattle, with a wide pantropical distribution that seems to continue spreading geographically. However, its role as a biological vector has been scarcely studied in the livestock context. In this study, a 16S rRNA next-generation sequencing analysis was used to determine bacterial diversity in salivary glands and gut of R. microplus from two contrasting livestock agroecosystems in Antioquia, Colombia. Both the culture-independent approach (CI) and the culture-dependent (CD) approach were complementarily adopted in this study. A total of 341 unique OTUs were assigned, the richness showed to be higher in the Northern than in the Middle Magdalena region, and a high diversity was found at the phylum and genus levels in the samples obtained. With the CI approach, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria were the most common phylum of bacteria regardless of the organ, or geographic origin of the specimens analyzed. While the relative abundance of bacteria at a phylum level with the CD approach varied between analyzed samples, the data obtained suggest that a high diversity of species of bacteria occurs in R. microplus from both livestock agroecosystems. Bacterial genera such as Anaplasma, Coxiella, and Ehrlichia, recognized for their implications in tick-borne diseases, were also detected, together with endosymbionts such as Lysinibacillus, previously reported as a potential tool for biological control. This information is useful to deepen the knowledge about microbial diversity regarding the relations between endosymbionts and pathogens and could facilitate the future development of epidemiological surveillance in livestock systems.
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© 2020 Segura et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.