A survey of ticks and tick-borne parasites in commercial cattle at Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
Ticks and tick-borne parasites are a major constrain to good livestock productivity in the sub-Saharan Africa including Nigeria. This study aimed at determining the prevalence of ticks and tick-borne parasites in cattle at Shinge Livestock Market, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Ticks and blood collected from randomly selected cattle were examined using standard entomological, parasitological and haematological procedures. Out of the 200 cattle examined 112(56.0%) were tick infested. A total of 1,152 ticks were collected from all cattle examined. Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) decoloratus 948(62.3%) was the most abundant species infesting cattle breeds followed by Amblyomma variegatum 383(25.2%), then Hyalomma rufipes 184(12.1%), while Rhipicephalus sanguineus 7(0.5%) was the least tick species encountered. There was a very high significant difference (p<0.00001) on species abundance. The bovine blood examined showed a 70.5% parasitic infection by two genera (Babesia and Anaplasma). Babesia bigemina 80(36.0%) was most prevalent, followed by Anaplasma marginale 77(34.7%), while Babesia bovis 65(29.3%) was the least prevalent. There was no significant difference (p=0.6848) in prevalence rate between tick borne parasites. Haematological investigation showed that blood indices examined were within standard ranges. It is therefore recommended that dips be introduced at strategic points to herders for easy access to de-tick their animals.
Keywords: Cattle; tick-borne diseases; species.