Prevalence and risk factors of ticks infesting cattle reared on the main campus of Haramaya University, Eastern Ethiopia
Tick infestation is a major problem constraining animal production and productivity in Ethiopia showing the need for tackling the situation. A crosssectional study was carried out to determine tick prevalence and associated risk factors among cattle reared on dairy, beef and free-range grazing farms of Haramaya University from November 2014 to April 2015. A total of 519 animals were randomly selected. Ticks were collected and identified under stereomicroscopic examination. A total of 384 (73.9%) animals were positive for tick infestation which was higher on both beef (79.2%) and dairy (82.3%) than on free-range grazing (32.4%) cattle with OR = 8 (95% CI 4.2-16.9) and OR= 9 (95% CI 5.0-18.8) in beef and dairy animals, respectively. Infestation was significantly lower on Borana breed (20%; 95% OR CI 0.5-1.99) than on others. Difference in infestation between sexes and among the age groups of animals were not observed (p > 0.05). Of positive cattle, 52.9%, 12.8%, 7.0% and 27.3% were infested with single, two, three and four genera of ticks, respectively. In positive animals, subgenus Boophilus (51.0%), Amblyomma (58.3%), Hyalomma (48.2%) and Rhipicephalus (53.1%) tick genera were observed. Multiple tick genera infestation were more frequent in cattle managed under both beef (34.7 to 62.9%) and dairy (22.2 to 55.1%) farm types than that of free-range (4.4 to 14.8%) farm types. All the currently encountered tick genera infested 48.5%, 46.8% and 4.8% of beef, dairy and free range grazing cattle farms, respectively. The result showed all animals are found in endemic environment for tick infestation and thus the burden might cause economic loses mainly by reducing milk and meat yields, body weight gain, skin and hides quality, and risk of tick-borne diseases. Therefore, tick infestation in the study farms warrants strategic tick control approaches.
Keywords: Beef farm; Dairy farm; Free-range grazing; Infestation; Tick genera