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Title: Tick Species Distribution and Tick Prevalence in Wet and Dry Season: A Case Study of Sedgemoor Farm in Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe.
Authors: Ndlovu, Solace
Keywords: Ticks
Sedgemoor Farm
Issue Date: May-2018
Publisher: Lupane State University
Abstract: Ticks are ecto-parasites sucking blood and transmitting diseases to a wide range of animals, both domestic and wild. A study to determine seasonality of ticks was carried out at Sedgemoor Farm. The main objectives of the study were to determine the most prevalent tick species, tick prevalence between wet and dry season, tick species distribution in wet and dry season and how infestation varies with the age of the animal. This research was done in December, January and February (wet season) and from April to June (dry season). Sixty animals were randomly selected from a herd of 125 South Devon x Nguni cross cattle. Adult ticks were collected from one side of the body of the animal using forceps to avoid DE capitulation. Ticks were then preserved in 70% alcohol until identification was done. Sample collection was repeated four times a month within the period of the study. Tick counts of different species were performed after each collection and ticks were identified by visual analysis using morphological characteristics. A total of 734 adult ticks were collected in his study, 397 (57, 1%) ticks were collected during the wet season compared to 337 (45, 9%) collected in the dry. The ticks collected were used to determine tick prevalence and tick species distribution between the wet and dry season. Nine tick species were recovered in this study, belonging to three genera which are Amblyomma, Hyalomma and Rhipicephalus. The tick species recovered in this study in descending order were: Rhipicelaphus evertsi evertsi (19.9%), Rhipicephalus. Zambensis (16.1) followed by Hyallomma truncatum (13.9%), Amblyomma variegatum (12.3%), Rhipicelaphus appendiculatus 11.1%, Amblyomma hebraeum (9.2%) Rhipicelaphus simus with (8%) Hyalomma marginatum (7.9%). The lowest number of ticks were Rhipicelaphus Boophilus decolaratus with 1.5%. The presence of both Rhipicelaphus evertsi evertsi and Rhipilecelaphus zambensis means that cattle are at risk of Theileriosis a disease that is not common in this area. A high tick prevalence was recorded in the wet season and prevalence decreased in the dry season. Sick tick species had high densities during the wet season than on the dry season namely R appendiculatus, R evertsi, A variegatum, R simus, H trancutum and H rufipes. A Habraeum, B decoloratus and R zambensis had high population densities in the dry season. Young animals were the most preferred host than the adults. A Shapiro wilk-test was used to assess the normality of the data. A paired t-test was used to determine the effect of season in tick species load and prevalence of ticks in cattle. The data was then presented in the form of descriptive tables for analysis. The P value for the correlation of prevalence with season was 0,012 which shows that there is significant difference between season and prevalence of ticks in cattle. Only 2 species showed significant difference in response to season. There were R appendiculatus (0.002) and A hebraeum (0.001). A more potent acaricide may be necessary during the wet season and vaccination against tick borne diseases. The t-test showed that there is a significant difference in tick species prevalence between wet and dry season (P=0,413).
Appears in Collections:Department of Animal and Rangeland Management

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