Survey of ixodid ticks in domestic ruminants in Bedelle district, Southwestern Ethiopia

Mesele Abera, Tirazu Mohammed, Rahmeto Abebe, Kassaye Aragaw, Jemere Bekele
Tropical Animal Health and Production 2010, 42 (8): 1677-83
A survey aimed at determining the status of ticks in cattle, sheep and goats in Bedelle district (Southwestern Ethiopia) was carried out from November 2007 to April 2008. Out of the total 330 animals examined, 314 (95.2%) were found to be infested (harbouring of at least a single tick). High rates of infestations were recorded across all three host species. Factors like month of collection, age and sex of host species did not show significant association with infestation rates. A total of 5,507 ticks belonging to three genera (i.e. Amblyomma, Boophilus and Rhipicephalus) were collected during the study period of which six species were identified. The species of ticks encountered comprise of Amblyomma cohaerens (44.1%), Amblyomma variegatum (13.8%), Amblyomma lepidum (1.2%), Boophilus decoloratus (24.9%), Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi (14.3%) and Rhipicephalus lunulatus (1.7%). As about 86.7% (4,772) of the ticks were collected from cattle, it was recognised that this could be an evidence of host preference where cattle are serving as principal host while sheep and goats serve as alternative hosts. The role of ecological factors and little attention paid by livestock owners for treatment of animals against ticks are suggested to result in the abundance of ticks. Acaricide spraying should be strategically applied to control ticks. Better result could be achieved if an emphasis is being put on spraying cattle. Studies on tick-borne diseases, involvement of wildlife species as well as related factors are recommended as they may provide a valuable basis for designing and launching an all-round control programme in the country.

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