Considering the economic impact of various ticks species on livestock, the present study was conducted for epidemiological characterization of common ticks infesting Ethiopian cattle between November 2013 and March 2014 period at various locations of Bedelle region. A total of 384 cattle were examined on random basis throughout the five months, out of which 231 cattle were found to be infested with ticks (60.12%). On the basis of morphological studies, a total of 2108 ticks belonging to three genera (that is, Amblyomma, Boophilus and Rhipicephalus) were collected during the study period. The species of ticks encountered in this study comprise of Amblyomma coherence (32.97%), Ambylomma gemma (4.6%), Ambylomma lepidum (3.7%), Amblyomma variegatum (3.98%), Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) decoloratus (31.87%) and Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi (22.87%). Furthermore, the present study showed a significant difference in the prevalence of tick infestation among the different age groups with higher prevalence in cattle with age >6 years (79.07%), whereas no statistically significant association was observed among breed, sex groups and different localities of the studied region (P > 0.05). Additionally, the results indicated that the favorable predilection sites of Ambylomma species were axilla, scrotum, udder, and belly/groin, while adult R. evertsi-evertsi had a strong predilection for tail as well as ano-vulva areas. Further studies on factors affecting tick burden and tick control strategies are recommended.
Key words: Bedelle, cattle, prevalence, tick species.
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