Ethnoecological knowledge of ticks and treatment of tick-borne diseases among Maasai people in Northern Tanzania

John Kioko, Julia Baker, Avery Shannon, Christian Kiffner
Veterinary World 2015, 8 (6): 755-62

AIM: The aim of this study was to understand traditional knowledge of tick ecology and remedies for tick-borne diseases (TBDs) among the Maasai people in northern Tanzania.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted among specific groups likely to be knowledgeable about tick ecology and TBDs in livestock among the Maasai people.

RESULTS: A total of 25 plant species belonging to 18 families were used to treat 8 different TBDs of livestock. Most of the plant species used were of Fabaceae and Burseraceae families. Aloe volkensii, Cissus grandifolia, and Terminalia brownii were the most commonly used plant species. The major plant growth form used was trees, while stems and bark were the main plant parts used. Most treatments were taken orally.

CONCLUSION: Maasai people have substantial knowledge on tick ecology exemplified by their ability to differentiate between different tick species and the range of remedies for each of the TBDs. Because traditional ethnoveterinary remedies are frequently utilized, their effectiveness should be further investigated.

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