Species diversity, distribution and predilection sites of ticks (Acarina: ixodidae) on trade cattle at Enugu and Anambra States, south-eastern Nigeria
Species diversity, distribution and predilection sites of ticks introduced from north-eastern Nigeria into Enugu, Ugwuoba, and Amansea Cattle Markets in south-eastern Nigeria were determined between March 2007 and April 2008. Amblyomma variegatum, Boophilus annulatus, Hyalomma truncatum and Rhipicephalus appendiculatus which have been implicated as vectors of tick-borne infectious diseases (TBID) of man and animals were identified. Percentage composition of the ticks was Amblyomma variegatum (20.05%), Boophilus annulatus (22.05%), Hyalomma truncatum (34.84%) and Rhipicephalus appendiculatus (23.06%). The values for Simpson’s indices also weighted towards the abundance of the commonest species as Hyalomma truncatum (0.1211), Rhipicephalus appendiculatus (0.0529), Boophilus annulatus (0.0484), and Amblyomma variegatum (0.0399). There was no significant differences between ecological indices for the cattle markets studied (p>0.001). Generally, the neck region contributed nearly 13.53% of all ticks recovered, while the hind legs, back, belly, forelegs, head, and tails contributed about 11.53, 10.9, 8.4, 7.02, 6.14 and 5.14% respectively. The flanks, scrotum and dewlap yielded 5.14% each, followed by the udder (4.14%), ears (4.14%), brisket (3.88%), groins (3.88%), shoulders (2.63%), and escutcheon (2.63). Potential risk of TBID outbreak in the study-area and environs is discussed. This result will help to fill the gap in the knowledge of the species diversity, distribution and predilection sites of ticks introduced into the study-area. It may also stimulate further research interest in the ecology of disease vectors as well as provide evidence-based decision for the surveillance of potential TBID transmission in Nigeria.
Keywords: ticks, species diversity, predilection sites, TBID, trade cattle, Nigeria.