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Byline: M.S. Khan, M.B. Bhutto, S.A. Khan, K. Awan, S.R.A. Shah and S.K.A. Shah

Keywords: Tick infestation, resistance, indigenous, crossbreed, cattle


The livestock plays a significant role in global economy, particularly in the developing countries. Livestock is source of energy, food, raw materials and manure for crops. It is therefore not surprising that the livestock sector, especially the dairy sector, has emerged as an important economic source for a vast majority of the rural population and a target for agri-business in dairy, meat and various other products in the processed food sector. Ticks cause substantial losses in cattle production in terms of diseases, reduced productivity, fertility and often death and are economically the most important ecto-parasites of cattle (Rajput et al., 2006; Aslam et al., 2015; Juan et al., 2019).Livestock shows a key role in Pakistan's economy by uplifting the socio-economic conditions of resource-poor husbandry communities and reducing poverty (Jabbar et al., 2015).

The livestock sector in Pakistan is represented mainly by small farm holders to meet the needs of nutrients and proteins, food security, and income. In the financial year 2013/2014, the livestock sector contributed 11.8% to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of Pakistan; its share in the value of all agricultural commodities was 55.9% (PES, 2014). Ticks were considered as parasites of domestic animals as early as 400 B.C. Aristotle in his famous historian imalium, stated that the ticks were disgusting parasites generated from grass. Despite this early realization, little work was done until the latter half of nineteenth century, when a number of parasitologists all over the world started working on taxonomy, prevalence, and bionomics, seasonal and regional occurrence of the ticks (Dobbelarece and Heussler, 1999, Kakar et al., 2017; Atif et al., 2012; Hailemariam et al., 2017).

Ticksare cosmopolitan in distribution, but occur principally in tropical and subtropical regions with warm and humid climate which are suitable to undergo metamorphosis (Kilpatrick et al., 2007; Durrani et al., 2009; Abdul et al., 2017). In order to know the susceptibility of indigenous and cross breed animals to tick infestation, this study was planned to inspect occurrence of tick infestation in indigenous and cross breeds of cattle and to assess the risk factors associated with tick infestation in Hyderabad and Kotri.


Total 300 animals of indigenous and cross breed of cattle were physically examined for the presence of ticks during study period of August to November-2016. Information for age, sex, body scoring and managemental factors was collected through a questionnaire by visiting twenty dairy farms of Hyderabad and Kotri. The physical examination of animal was preferred to observe the presence and severity of the tick infestation. Animals were grouped according to their age as A (up to 1 year), B (3-5 years) and C (Above 5 years) according to the classification method used by Bitew (2011). Likewise, the body condition score (bony, fair and fatty) was based on the criteria set by Nicholson and Butterworth (1996). Data on tick collection was computed to calculate their rate of prevalence following multifactorial parameters including overall rate of infestation, tick burden, inter and intra specific association, location, specification, trend of infestation and projected prevalence.

Various risk factors (Age, sex, breed type and managemental factors) were calculated with the association on the presence or absence of ticks. During the survey, four types of local breeds (Red Sindhi, Sahiwal, Kankrej and Thari) and cross breeds (Fresein, Holstein, Jersy and Mix cross) were present at dairy farms of the study area.

Collection of ticks: Five visible ticks from each animal were collected in 70% alcohol from different body parts including eye, body, nose, legs and udder of the infested cattle by hand picking carefully without breaking mouth part for identification (Kabir et al., 2011). Specimen were mounted on the slides in Canada balsam and kept in the level position until hardened (Kabir et al., 2011).

Identifications of the tick was made under the binocular microscope with the help of keys (mouth part and genital aperture) described by (Soulsby, 1982).

Statistical analysis: The collected data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. Prevalence was determined by the formula described by Thrusfeild (2005). In all analysis, 95% confidence intervals and P0.05). Table-2 showed the rate of tick infestation in local and cross breeds of cattle. In local breed types, infestation rate was 30.61, 30, 14 and 33.33% in Red Sindhi, Sahiwal, Kankrej and Thari, respectively. On the other hand, the tick infestation rate recorded in cross breed was 27.45, 19.58, 0 and 5.26% in mix cross, Friesen cross, Holstein cross and Jersey cross, respectively. Proportion of breed wise infestation in local and cross breeds of cattle was non-significant (P>0.05). Table-3: revealed the gender-wise prevalence in local and cross breed of cattle. Prevalence in male and female of local breed was 15.79% and 32.11% respectively.

While, prevalence of tick infestation in male and female of cross breeds was 23.07% and 19.49%, respectively. Proportion of gender-wise tick infestation in local and cross breeds cattle were non-significant at P>0.05 level. The age-wise prevalence of tick infestation was recorded as 40.74% and 24.48%, 29.41% and 27.77% in calve up to 1 year, 1 to 3 year, 3 to 5 and above 5 years age group of local breedsof cattle, respectively. In cross breed the age group calve upto 1 year, 1 to 3 year, 3 to 5 and above 5 years cattle were infested with prevalence rate of 38.38% and 14.81%, 20 and 22%, respectively (Table-4). Proportion of gender wise tick infestation in local and cross breeds cattle were non-significant at P>0.05 level. Table-5: Demonstrates owner's response rate towards the tick removing, out of 65 owners 58.46% responded as "yes". While, 41.54% said to "no" for removal of the tick from the body of animal.

Table-6 showed the type of treatment applied for the removal of ticks from animal. Half of 38 owner said that they have used hand picking method. While 39.47% and 10.53% owner used Ivermectin and Acaricide spray to remove the tick from the body of animal.


This study revealed that overall tick infestation in cattle was recorded as 24%. Results are quietly different with Kabir et al., (2011) who reported that infestation rate in cattle was 36.31% at Chittagong District, Bangladesh. Our result is different from the findings of Asmaa et al., 2014 who reported infestation (60.5%) high in cattle at Benisuef district. Result variation might be due to different area and climate condition. In local breed of cattle, Red Sindhi, Sahiwal, Kankraj and Thari tick infestation was 30.61%, 30%, 14% and 33.33%, respectively. On the other hand the tick infestation rate was recorded in cross breed,27.45%, 19.58%, 0 and 5.26% mix cross, Friesen cross, Holstein cross and Jersy cross, respectively. The exact cause of higher prevalence of tick infestation in local breeds of cattle is not well understood but it can be assumed that it might be lack of interest of the farmer about local breeds and taking more care of cross breed than the local cattle.

Breed type investigations for tick infestation in local and cross breed of cattle during this study revealed that the local breeds of cattle were found more infested (29.6%) than the cross breed cattle (19.77%). These results are in line with (Kabir et al., 2011) who reported infestation was highly prevalent in local cattle (43.82%) as compared with the cross breed cattle (24.13%) at Chittagong District, Bangladesh. This variation might be due to the geographical location, condition of climate and managemental practice in study area. In present study, tick infestation was high in female (32.11%) than the male (15.79%) in local breed, on the other hand, tick infestation was higher in male (23.07%) compared to the female (19.49) in cross breed cattle. The result is different from that reported by Kabiret al. (2011) who described that tick infestation was significantly higherin female (59.37%) than the male cattle (35.83%) at Chittagong District, Bangladesh.

Result of another researcher was different from this study. (Musa et al., 2014) reported high tick infestation in male (63.4%) compared with female (60.9%) in Maiduguri, Northeastern Nigeria. Actual reason of tick infestation in female cattle is not clear but it can be hypothesized the hormonal influence may reduce immunity in females and thus there is high prevalence rate in female cattle. During the present study local breed tick infestation rate was high (40.74%) in calves up to 1 year compared to the other age groups of cattle i.e., 1 to 3 year (24.48%), 3 to 5 (29.41%) and above 5 years (27.77%).. In cross breed cattle tick infestation (38.88%) was also high in calve up to 1 year as compare to 1 to 3 year, 3 to 5 and above 5 years was (14.81%, 20% and 22% respectively). These result differ from the (Kabir et al., 2011) who reported the prevalence was significantly high in cattle of 1.5 years of age (46.28%) as compare to the cattle >1.5 years of age (27.80%).

Present study result also differ from the (Patel et al., 2012), they noticed high infestation rate in the group of animals less than 1 year age (80.21%) followed by group of animal age between 1 to 3 years (68.48%) and lowest in group animal of age greater than 3 years (44.85%) at Mathura district, Uttar Pradesh. It is very difficult to describe exactly the normal incidence of tick infestation in adult and calves, ticks suck the blood for their survival and reproduction which may be main reason for higher in rate of tick infestation in young cattle.

Only Hyalomma tick species was found on local and cross breed cattle in study area. (Kebede et al., 2012) identified the tick species were Amblyomma variegatum (49.2%), Boophilus decoloratus, (21.2%), Hyalomma marginatum (9.8%), Hyalomma truncatum (6.2%), Rhipicephalus evertsievertsi (6.6%), and Rhipicephalus pulchellus (5.3%) in Awi zone, Amhara region. (Sultana et al., 2015) reported the dominant specie of ticks Hyalomma anatolicumanatolicum was observed on cattle (55.45%). High prevalence of Hyalomma tick species, this could be due to fact, Hyalomma was the common and widely distributed on cattle in study area. The dominant Hyalomma over others genera because of the native distribution of ticks on the distribution of cattle as host and climate condition. In this study local breed tick frequency percentage was high in bony 57.89%, medium in fair 23.68%, and low 18.43% in fatty body status.

In case of cross breed the frequency percentage was high 52.94% in boney, medium 35.29% in fair, and low11.77% in fatty body status of cattle. Present study result was totally differ with the results of (Alemu et al., 2014) reported that the prevalence of tick infestation was highest in poor body condition (98%) while the medium in medium body condition (76.11%) and low in good body condition (74.04%.) in Northwest Ethiopia. Local breed cattle tick frequency percentage was higher 50% on udder as compare to the other body parts such as face cum neck, groin, udder, ear and tail cum peri-anal in the study area. Similarly, in cross breed tick frequency percentage was higher 55.88% on udder as compare to the other body parts such as face cum neck, groin, udder, ear and tail cum peri-anal, respectively.

These result agree to some extent with Asmaa et al., (2014 reported the preferred sites of ticks attachment to animals were udders and external genitalia (70.7% each) then Neck and chest (63.0% of each), inner thighs (61.1%), perineum (41.7%), ears (14.6%), around eyes (11.7%) at Benisuef district. Mossie et al., (2016) results differ from present study. The effect of feeding wise tick infestation in local breed and cross breed was recorded as (57.89% versus 42.11%) and (79.41% versus 20.59%) in stall feeding and grazing cum stall feeding, respectively. frequency percentage of stall feeding was higher than the both grazing cum stall feeding. These results were different from Kabir et al. (2011) reported the field grazing (41.96%) cattle were more susceptible to tick infestation than the stall-feeding (24.8%) animals at Chittagong District, Bangladesh.

High tick infestation may be due to the management system where animals are allowed to the graze together in field and in mixed farming system of study area. Tick frequency percentage (55.26%) was high in local breed cattle living in Kacha housing system as compared to the cattle living in cemented housing (44.74%) in study area. Frequency percentage (52.95%) was also high in cross breed cattle living in Kacha housing system as compared to the animal living in cemented housing (47.05) the owner's response rate towards the methods for tick removing 41.54% and 58.46% owners responded "yes" and "no", respectively. Difference may be due to the ticks hide himself in ground and laying eggs in Kacha housing system, after hatching seed ticks start to suck blood from host animal.

Conclusion: It was concluded that tick infestation in indigenous cattle was found higher (29.6%) than the cross bred cattle (19.77%). It was concluded that the Hyalomma tick is threat to the local and cross breed cattle in Hyderabad and Kotri.


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Publication:Pakistan Journal of Science
Geographic Code:6ETHI
Date:Jun 30, 2019

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