Parasites and pathogens of ticks (Rhipicephalus species Acari: Ixodidae) among dogs in Edo State, Nigeria
The interaction of ticks with its environment as well as its natural hosts predisposes it to acquiring pathogens that could pose animal and human health risks. Identifying these pathogens could alert dog owners and others to reassess the predisposing factors and ensure control. The aim of the study was to identify the species of ticks across some parts of Edo State with the parasites and pathogens they harbour. A total of 157 dogs were examined across seven towns in the three senatorial districts of Edo State from February to August 2015. Three tick species were identified: Rhipicephalus sanguineus (53.57%) (Latreille), Rh. Pulchellus (42.33%) (Gerstäcker) and Rh. Decoloratus (7.36%) Koch. Rhipicephalus sanguineus was predominant in Benin, Ekpoma, Irrua and Uromi, while Rh. pulchelus were commonly seen in Auchi, Igara and Ibillo. The number of ticks on male dogs was more than female. Generally, the following bacteria (Bacillus cereus, Citrobacter freundi, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas. aeruginosa, Proteus mirabilis and Streptococcus aureus), fungi (Aapergillusniger, Fusarium spp., Penicillum spp. and Saccharomyces cereviciae) and parasites (Acanthamoeba spp., Ascaris lumbricoides, Entamoeba coli, hookworm and Schistosoma haematobium) were isolated from ticks. Also, the tick infection rate for microbes were relatively high with E. coli (18.47%), P. aeruginosa (17.19%) and A. niger (25.47%), while A. lumbricoides (15.28%) and hookworm (10.82%) were the most encountered parasites. The role of the environment being the most likely source of infection is thus discussed.
Keywords: ticks; environment; bacteria; fungi; parasites