Field assessment of the efficacy of Tephrosia vogelii leaf extracts for control of ticks on naturally infested cattle in the field condition

  • Christopher P. SiameEmail author
  • Harrison Chitambo
  • John Bwalya Muma
  • Kennedy Choongo
  • Elder Moonga
Original Article


Tephrosia vogelii (T. vogelii) is a known tropical leguminous herb for fixing nitrogen in the soil and as pesticide properties. Its crude leaf extract was evaluated as a natural acaricide to control ticks on naturally infested traditionally reared cattle in selected areas of Monze District of Zambia. Experimental animals were selected from herds of cattle with poor or no history of any conventional tick control and were divided into six treatment groups of five animals per set which were sprayed with 5, 10, 20 and 40% w/v of T. vogelii leaf extract bio-acaricide solution. A negative control group of five animals were sprayed with ordinary water, while a positive group with a commercial acaricide (Amitraz®) at a recommended dosage of 1:500 dilution. Half-body tick counts then doubled were conducted on each animal, before and at twenty-four hourly intervals of: 24 (1 day), 48 (2 days), 96 (3 days), 192 (4 days), 384 (5 days) and 768 (6 days) after treatment. The observed tick reductions were found to be statistically significant at all treatment levels (p value < 0.001). With this performance, there was evidence to show that the herbal extract was effective against ticks. The results showed significant and sustained efficacy T. vogelii extract from day 2 to day 6 after treatment. There was no significant difference at 5, 10, 20 and 40 w/v in the observed efficacies between low and high concentrations of the bio-acaricide used. We conclude that T. vogelii could be used to spray animals against ticks, especially in low-income communities and also in setups where organic farming is practiced.


Leaf extracts Small-scale farmer Tephrosia vogelii Ticks Cattle 



The authors of this paper would like to thank the following: Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANIBio) Livestock Node for the financial support of school fees and an opportunity to work as a research assistant in the implementation of the project and organization of farmers in the project which was managed by National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR) and the University of Zambia School of Veterinary Medicine. Both the institutions provided good environment and support to us, through purchase of the basic requirements for use during the field experiment; Dr. Benson Mwenya, the Director of Livestock Development in the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, for financial support to travel to the experimental sites and carry out the field experiments; Associate Prof. Dr. Patrick Musonda from School of Medicine and Dr. Martin Simmunza from School of Veterinary Medicine University of Zambia for their work on the data analysis; the lead farmer Mr. Misa and Mr. Naulu Mweemba, veterinary assistant, for the collection of ticks from his camp; and lastly the team at Regional Diagnostic Laboratory in Mazabuka for the support during the laboratory experiments.

Author contributions

CPS, HC and EM conceived and designed the study; CPS and HC performed the field experiments; JBM, KC and CPS analyzed the data and wrote the paper.

Compliance with ethical standard

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest in the study.

Ethical standard

The research proposal was first approved by the Graduate Research Committee at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Zambia. Ethical approval was granted by the Ethics Committee of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock in Zambia (Ref No. 2015/002). The district veterinary officers-in-charge of animals in the study areas were also informed of the study. Consent to use the animals was verbally obtained from individual farmers after explaining the objectives of the study.


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Copyright information

© Indian Society for Parasitology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher P. Siame
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Harrison Chitambo
    • 3
  • John Bwalya Muma
    • 4
  • Kennedy Choongo
    • 5
  • Elder Moonga
    • 6
  1. 1.Mazabuka Regional Diagnostic LaboratoryMazabukaZambia
  2. 2.Department of Para-clinical StudiesThe University of ZambiaLusakaZambia
  3. 3.Department of Disease ControlThe University of ZambiaLusakaZambia
  4. 4.Department of Biological StudiesThe University of ZambiaLusakaZambia
  5. 5.School of Veterinary MedicineThe University of ZambiaLusakaZambia
  6. 6.National Institute for Scientific and Industrial ResearchChilangaZambia

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