Tick (Acari: Ixodidae) infestations in cattle along Geba River basin in Guinea-Bissau

Sara Tudela Zúquete, João Coelho, Fernanda Rosa, Yolanda Vaz, Bernardo Cassamá, Ludovina Padre, Dulce Santos, Afonso P Basto, Alexandre Leitão
Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 2017, 8 (1): 161-169
Tick infestations are a major problem for animal production in tropical areas where prevention and control remain deficient. The present study sought to assess the awareness of traditional cattle producers towards the importance of ticks and aimed at the identification of tick species infesting bovines within the Geba River basin, Guinea-Bissau. Interviews with producers revealed that the majority directly correlates the presence of ticks with the occurrence of diseases in cattle. However, insufficient or inadequate control approaches prevail. A total of 337 ticks were collected on bovines at 18 different villages (10 during dry season, and 8 during rainy season). The tick species collected during the dry season were Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) geigyi (56.5%), followed by Amblyomma variegatum (23.3%), Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus (17.6%) and Hyalomma truncatum (1%). In the rainy season A. variegatum was the most collected (88.9%), followed by R. (Boophilus) geigyi (4.2%), R. (Boophilus) annulatus (3.4%), Rhipicephalus sanguineus group (2.8%) and H. truncatum (0.7%). To support species identification, segments of both cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) and 12S ribosomal RNA (12S) genes were sequenced and the data gathered were analysed by maximum likelihood and parsimony. Morphological and genetic data of individual specimens gathered in this study provide relevant information for future studies on tick population dynamics in the region. In addition, it led to a deeper characterization of R. sulcatus and a R. sanguineus-like specimen, exploring their genetic relationship with other R. sanguineus, which supports their classification as distinct species within R. sanguineus group.

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