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Original Research

The host status of African buffaloes, Syncerus caffer, for Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) decoloratus

I.G. Horak, H. Golezardy, A.C. Uys

Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research; Vol 73, No 3 (2006), 193-198. doi: 10.4102/ojvr.v73i3.145

Submitted: 13 September 2006
Published:  13 September 2006


The objective of this study was to assess the host status of African buffaloes, Syncerus caffer, for the one-host tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) decoloratus. To this end the R. (B.) decoloratus burdens of ten buffaloes examined in three north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal Province (KZN) nature reserves were compared with those of medium-sized to large antelope species in these reserves and in the southern Kruger National Park (KNP), Mpumalanga Province. The R. (B.) decoloratus burdens of the buffaloes were considerably smaller than those of the antelopes in the KNP, but not those in the KZN reserves. The life-stage structure of the R. (B.) decoloratus populations on the buffaloes, in which larvae predominated, was closer to that of this tick on blue wildebeest, Connochaetes taurinus, a tick-resistant animal, than to that on other antelopes. A single buffalo examined in the KNP was not infested with R. (B.) decoloratus, whereas a giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis, examined at the same locality and time, harboured a small number of ticks. In a nature reserve in Mpumalanga Province adjacent to the KNP, two immobilized buffaloes, from which only adult ticks were collected, were not infested with R. (B.) decoloratus, whereas greater kudus, Tragelaphus strepsiceros, examined during the same time of year in the KNP harboured large numbers of adult ticks of this species. African buffaloes would thus appear to be resistant to infestation with R. (B.) decoloratus, and this resistance is expressed as the prevention of the majority of tick larvae from developing to nymphs.

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Author affiliations

I.G. Horak,
H. Golezardy,
A.C. Uys,



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ISSN: 0030-2465 (print) | ISSN: 2219-0635 (online)

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