Prevalence and infestation load of ixodid ticks of cattle in Dassenech District, Southern Ethiopia
Ticks are harmful blood sucking external parasites of livestock that are distributed in all agro-ecological zones in Ethiopia. A cross sectional study was conducted to identify major tick genera, prevalence and assess tick infestation load on cattle in Dassenech district, southern Ethiopia from October 2014 to June 2015. A total of 384 animals were sampled using random sampling technique. Ticks were collected from different sites including the ear, neck dewlap, abdomen, anus, hip udder, scrotum and base of tail. Of the total examined animals, 72.1% (n=277/384) tick infestation prevalence was recorded. Rhipicephalus/ Boophilus was the most abundant tick genera (84.64%) among the three identified tick genera in the district followed by Amblyomma. There was no statistically significant difference in prevalence of tick infestation among male and female animals (χ2=1.61; p=0.205) as well as age group (χ2=1.30; p=0.254). Animals with poor body condition score had significantly higher tick prevalence (89.47%) than medium (77.48%) and good body condition score (48.74%) animals (χ2=51.6; p=0.001). This finding indicated that there is high prevalence of tick infestation in the area which alarms for further detailed investigation and designing efficient method of tick control in the study area.
Keywords: Amblyomma; Rhipicephalus/Boophilus; Tick infestation; Tick burden