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Prevalence, associated determinants, and in vivo chemotherapeutic control of hard ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) infesting domestic goats (Capra hircus) of lower Punjab, Pakistan

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A total of 800 goats of various breeds, age, and sex were randomly selected from Muzaffargarh (M. garh) and Layyah districts of lower Punjab, Pakistan. The selected goats were visited twice a month to collect information about determinants influencing goat tick infestation prevalence. For acaricidal efficacy, 360 tick-infested adult goats were subjected to an acaricidal treatment and post-treatment quantitative assessment of tick burden. Quantification of adult tick detachment 24 h post-treatment and the duration of treatment efficacy were calculated. Overall prevalence of goat tick infestation in both study districts was 60.1% (481/800). The prevalence was higher in district M. garh than in district Layyah. Tehsil-wise prevalence in district Layyah was highest in tehsil Layyah followed in order by Chaubara and Karor. In district M. garh, highest prevalence was found in tehsil M. garh followed by Kot Addu, Alipur, and Jatoi. Hyalomma a. anatolicum (75.9%; 365/481) and Rhipicephalus sanguineus (24.1%; 116/481) were the predominant species in both the districts. The highest month-wise prevalence was 56.9% and 62.7% in Layyah and M. garh districts, respectively, during July 2008, and the minimum (0%) prevalence was reported in November and December, respectively. Regarding host determinants, female goats were more heavily infested (72.8%) than males (47.5%), and younger animals were (63.5%) more burdened than older ones (56.7%). Teddy goats were the most susceptible breeds followed in order by Beetal, cross-bred, Nachi, and Dera Din Pannah. The preferred sites of attachment were inside and outside of the ear. Both the ivermectin (IVM)- and cypermethrin (CYM)-treated groups resulted in significantly lower (P < 0.05) tick counts relative to controls on all post-treatment counting days. The lowest tick burden in the IVM-treated group was significantly higher (P < 0.05) as compared to the CYM-treated group, the latter being close to zero. Hence, the in vivo efficacy trials of injectable IVM vs CYM pour-on revealed better results for the latter. These observations provided the first insights into what determinants impact goat tick infestation, and laid a foundation for planning of future control programs in the lower Punjab, Pakistan.

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The study is a part of research conducted in an indigenous Ph.D. fellowship scheme (phase II) funded by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. The authors would like to thank Dr. Doug Colwell, Livestock Parasitology, Agriculture, and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Centre, Lethbridge, Canada, for reviewing the project report.

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Correspondence to Muhammad Sohail Sajid.

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Sajid, M.S., Iqbal, Z., Khan, M.N. et al. Prevalence, associated determinants, and in vivo chemotherapeutic control of hard ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) infesting domestic goats (Capra hircus) of lower Punjab, Pakistan. Parasitol Res 108, 601–609 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-010-2103-8

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  • Ivermectin
  • Cypermethrin
  • Small Ruminant
  • Tick Species
  • Tick Infestation