Population dynamics of ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) infesting cattle in the central region of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Author: N. Nyangiwe, N. Sikade, M. Yawa & S. Goni
Year: 2020
Issue: 1
Volume: 13
Page: 35 - 41

Ticks are widely distributed throughout the world, especially in tropical and subtropical areas. Globally, costs associated with ticks and tick-transmitted pathogens in cattle range between US$ 22-30 billion. This study was carried out from April 2016 to March 2017 to identify the tick species from 10 cattle and also from six drag samples during the 12-month period. All ticks collected per animal and from vegetation were stored in labelled sample tubes containing 70% ethanol. A total of 2 391 ticks were collected during the study. Based on morphological traits, 10 tick species were identified: Amblyomma hebraeum (36.6%), Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi (18.0%), R. (Boophilus) decoloratus (16.3%), Hyalomma rufipes (12.7%), R. appendiculatus (8.9%), R. simus (6.7%), Ixodes pilosus (0.5%), R. follis (0.3%), Haemaphysalis elliptica (0.04%) and H. silacea (0.04%). Significantly more larvae of R. (B.) decoloratus were collected from the vegetation than on cattle. No collection of the invasive cattle tick, R. (B.) microplus was found in the study area. The absence of R. (B.) microplus is of epidemiological interest in terms of tick distribution, as this species is known to be highly resistant to numerous acaricide compounds.

Keywords: Cattle, Eastern Cape Province, hard ticks, pathogens, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) decoloratus
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