Relatively recently, many parasitic ticks and mites are reported to contain heritable endosymbionts that are essential for the arthropod host, and as such these bacteria have been targeted as a mean to control the parasites. Using a porcine model, our laboratory has recently characterised the microbiota associated with scabies mite by metagenome sequencing in two different life stages of the mite, specifically the adult female mites and eggs. Scabies mites were isolated from porcine skin and pools of adult female mites and eggs were selected. External bacteria from these samples were removed by washing with 0.6 % sodium hypochlorite solution. Total DNA was extracted and metagenome of each life stage was investigated by illumina sequencing. From this data we have identified a number of bacterial genera that may be important for the biology and pathogenicity of scabies mites, including potential endosymbiont namely Streptomyces. We confirmed the presence of Streptomyces by conventional PCR in the adult mites and eggs samples that have been externally sterilised. We further compared the quantity of Streptomyces between these mites and eggs by digital PCR (ddPCR). We found relatively similar numbers of Streptomyces between the adult mites and eggs.
We aim to investigate the mode of transmission of Streptomyces from mites to eggs by ddPCR on externally washed vs. unwashed adult mites and eggs. The biological role of Streptomyces in Scabies mites will be investigated by a variety of culture and molecular techniques.
Identify the relevance of Streptomyces in the scabies mite biology for potential biocontrol.
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