Ticks and tick-borne parasites associated with indigenous cattle in Didtuyura Ranch, southern Ethiopia
Kaaya Godwin P.
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Tick populations were monitored between October 1991 and September 1992 at monthly intervals on 10 Boran (Bos indicus) heifers at Didtuyura ranch, Yabelo district, Ethiopia. Twelve different tick species in four genera were identified from a total of 16 026 specimens collected. Of all the ticks collected, Rhipicephalus spp. constituted 84.7%, Amblyomma spp. 9.9%, Boophilus spp. 4.8% and Hyalomma spp. 0.24%. The ventral parts of cattle were found to be the most favoured feeding sites for most of the ticks collected. The size ranges of the standard ticks collected were 4–8 mm; 9–16 mm; 4–8 mm and 8–13 mm for R. pulchellus, A. variegatum, B. decoloratus and A. gemma, respectively, while their respective male to female sex ratios were 2:1; 3.2:1; 1:5.4 and 2.6:1. Packed cell volume (PCV) values of blood samples taken from 600 cattle were monitored monthly during the study period. There was a reduction in PCV during the dry season of the year but generally the values were within the normal range of 32–40%. The parasites causing anaplasmosis, babesiosis and theileriosis (T. mutans) were detected by microscopic examination of blood smears and serologically (ELISA) at seroprevalence rates of 94.68%, 77.19% and 30.9% respectively.