Belize is a tropical country hosting a rich biodiversity. It also supports several U.S. operated military bases. Ticks can carry and transmit dangerous pathogens that put both local residents and soldiers at risk. Herein we compare 564 ticks collected in two villages (Red Bank & San Roman) in the SE district of Stann Creek in 2018 with those collected in 2014 & 2015 from Cayo (SW), Orange Walk (NW), and Corozal (N) Districts (n = 154) (Polsomboom et al. 2017). DNA was extracted from 564 ticks and DNA barcodes successfully obtained from 417 confirming the presence of 10 taxa. Differences were detected in tick species recovered across the four districts sampled to date. All 564 ticks were also screened for Rickettsia spp., Babesia spp., Babesia microti, Borrelia spp., and Ehrlichia spp. using a series of available species- and genus-diagnostic primers. Seven ticks were found to be infected: six by Rickettsia parkeri (A. ovale (n = 5), 1 unidentified) and one by Ehrlichia canis (specimen unidentified). It is important to understand the connections between vectors and the pathogens they may carry to work towards preventative measures and improving healthcare.
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