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Factors affecting tick infestations in small ruminants under extensive system in Dja et Lobo in the South Region of Cameroon (Central Africa)

Kouam, Marc K., Dongmo, Jarvis B.
Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports 2018 v.14 pp. 131-136
Amblyomma variegatum, Rhipicephalus evertsi, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, acaricides, adults, animal husbandry, breeds, farms, financial economics, gender, goats, risk factors, sheep, tick infestations, ticks, Cameroon
Ticks are the cause of economic loss in animal husbandry and a cause of concern in public health. Therefore this study was carried out to identify the tick species occurring in indigenous small ruminants and investigate factors influencing their occurrence in Dja et Lobo in the South Region of Cameroon. Ticks were collected from 397 animals (sheep and goats) from 90 farms and identified morphologically. Data on potential risk factors were also collected. 6.5% (26 out of 397) of animals were infested with three adult, ixodid tick species: Amblyomma variegatum (6.5%), Rhipicephalus evertsi (3.5%) and R. sanguineus (1.5%). The infestation rate was significantly higher (p < .05) in A variegatum than in R. evertsi and R. sanguineus infestations. The relative abundance for A. variegatum, R. evertsi and R. sanguineus was 72.22%, 19.44% and 8.33% respectively. The mean tick load was low (0.36 ± 1.45). The mean load of A. variegatum was 3.71 and 8.66 times significantly higher (p < .05) than that of R. evertsi and R. sanguineus respectively. The frequency of acaricide use significantly affected the tick load of animals; animals irregularly treated for tick infestation had higher tick load than untreated animals. All other factors (animal species, gender and age, location of farms and farmer's knowledge of tick) were not significant. Such a practice (irregular treatment) needs to be corrected for better productivity of small ruminants in the Region. Because of the presence of A. variegatum in the area, introduction of new genetic materials (exotic breeds) should be well thought of and handled with care.