Prevalence, Distribution And Risk Factors Of Hard Ticks In Large Ruminants Of District Gujrat, Punjab, Pakistan
Background: Ticks are blood sucking ectoparasites that act as host for various pathogens like bacteria, viruses and protozoans that cause a number of diseases in humans and animals. They pose a serious threat to livestock industry because their major hosts are cattle and buffaloes. Present study was conducted in this scenario to find out prevalence and distribution of ticks in specified areas.
Materials and Methods: This research was conducted from January 2021 to July 2021. Two hundred large ruminants were examined on monthly basis. In order to find out prevalence area, age, gender, and seasonal parameters were observed. Total one hundred and ninety ticks were collected from different parts of their body.
Identified Species: Five species belonging to two genra (Hyalomma and Rhipicephalus) and one sub genus (Boophilus) were identified including Hyalomma marginatum, Hyalomma excavatum, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) decolorates and Rhipicephalus camicasi. Hyalomma excavatum was the most prevalent specie.
Percentage Prevalence: Tehsil Gujrat was the most affected by tick infestation (67%) followed by Tehsil Kharian (55%) and Tehsil Sarai Alamgir (39%). This study suggested that cattle were more susceptible to tick infestation (58%) than buffaloes (50%).
Effect of Seasonal Variations on Tick Infestation: Seasonal variations has major influence on tick infestation. They were more prevalent in summer followed by spring and winter. Temperature, humidity and rainfall has significant effect on tick infestation (p<0.05).
Gender: Males were more susceptible to tick infestation (77%) as compared to the females (40%). Age: Large ruminants at younger age (4<years) were more susceptible than adults (4>years). Predilection Sites: Major predilection sites of ticks were external genitals (42%), followed by the tail (14%), dewlap (11%), udder (9%), thighs (8%) face (5%) and flanks (3%).
Breeds: Australian Friesian breed among cows (38%) and Neeli Ravi breed among buffaloes (25%) was more likely to be infested with ticks.
Conclusion: Keeping in view prevalence rate and factors influencing spread of ticks further studies should be planned to design management systems in order to minimize the economic losses.