A collaboration with Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d’Alfort and INRAE teams led to the publication of this article. We showed that contaminant OTUs from sample laboratory processing steps can represent more than half the total sequence yield in sequencing runs, and lead to unreliable results when characterizing tick microbial communities. We thus strongly advise the routine use of negative controls in tick microbiota studies, and more generally in studies involving low biomass samples. You can access this article here.