Ticks are vectors in the transmission of many important infectious diseases in human and animals. Ticks can be readily found in the semi-forested areas such as the settlements of the indigenous people in Malaysia, the Orang Asli. There is still minimal information available on the bacterial agents associated with ticks found in Malaysia. We performed a survey of the bacterial communities associated with ticks collected from domestic animals found in two Orang Asli villages in Malaysia. We collected 62 ticks, microscopically and molecularly identified as related to Haemaphysalis wellingtoni, Haemaphysalis hystricis and Haemaphysalis bispinosa. Bacterial 16s rRNA hypervariable region (V6) amplicon libraries prepared from the tick samples were sequenced on the Ion Torrent PGM platform. We detected a total of 392 possible bacterial genera after pooling and sequencing 20 samples, indicating a diverse bacterial community profile. Dominant taxa include the potential tick endosymbiont, Coxiella. Other dominant taxa include the tick-associated pathogen, Rickettsia, and environmental bacteria such as Bacillus, Mycobacterium, Sphingomonas and Pseudomonas. Other known tick-associated bacteria were also detected, including Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Rickettsiella and Wolbachia, albeit at very low abundance. Specific PCR was performed on selected samples to identify Rickettsia and Coxiella. Sequence of Rickettsia felis, which causes spotted fever in human and cats, was identified in one sample. Coxiella endosymbionts were detected in three samples. This study provides the baseline knowledge of the microbiome of ticks in Malaysia, focusing on tick-associated bacteria affecting the Orang Asli communities. The role of the herein found Coxiella and Rickettsia in tick physiology or disease transmission merits further investigation. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.