Ixodid ticks are common and a major obstacle to development and utilization of animal resource in tropical countries like Ethiopia. Ethiopia shares long international frontiers with adjacent countries, tick dynamics and influx of ticks across the border are major obstacles of tick control and management. Thus, border-oriented epidemiological surveys are of paramount importance to identify a potential port of cross border diseases, particularly ticks and to formulate complimentary bilateral policies. The current study was therefore, designed with the objectives to assess prevalence, abundance and to identify genera and species of major ixodid tick of cattle circulating at Ethio-Kenyan border. A cross-sectional study was conducted from November 2016 to January 2017 in purposively selected four Pastoral Associations of Dillo district, Southern Ethiopia. A total of 7524 adult ticks were randomly collected from 384 cattle and examined with a stereomicroscope. Logistic regression was used to determine the association of risk factors with positivity for Ixodid ticks. The study revealed an overall prevalence of 98.2% of Ixodid ticks of cattle. Three genera of ticks, Rhipicephalus (including the subgenus Boophilus), Amblyomma and Hyalomma and seven species of ticks were identified and found to be abundant with overall mean burdens of 40 ticks/head. The association of age and body condition of animals to tick infestation were statistically significant but there was no significant association between sex and tick infestation (OR=3, P=0.007). Animals in poor body condition were twice more likely to be infested with tick than animals with good body condition (OR=2, P=0.031) and animals with medium body condition were also found more prone to tick infestation than animals in good body condition (OR=1.7, P=0.043). Ixodid ticks that were less abundant in most parts of the country were encountered as well adapted and widely distributed in this area. Uncontrolled animal movement across the border may play a great role in high density and diversification of tick in Dillo district. Therefore, collaborative nationwide studies was done to have the country-wide distribution figures and to identify a potential port of cross border diseases particularly ticks and to formulate complimentary bilateral policies for prevention and control of ticks.
Key words: Ixodid, tick, cattle, Dillo, Borena, cross border disease.
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