Original Research

Goats as alternative hosts of cattle ticks

N. Nyangiwe, I.G. Horak
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 74, No 1 | a133 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v74i1.133 | © 2007 N. Nyangiwe, I.G. Horak | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 September 2007 | Published: 13 September 2007

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N. Nyangiwe,
I.G. Horak,

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to compare the presence on goats and cattle of adult ticks that usually infest cattle. To this end ticks collected from sets of five goats were compared with those collected from sets of five cattle at 72 communal dip-tanks in the eastern region of the Eastern Cape Province. Amblyomma hebraeum was present on goats at 25 and on cattle at 39 dip-tanks, and a total of 61 goats and 138 cattle were infested. Adult Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus was present on goats at 48 and on cattle at 69 dip-tanks, and a total of 113 goats and 242 cattle were infested. The lengths of 84 of 148 female R. (Boophilus) microplus collected from the goats exceeded 5 mm or more, indicating that they could successfully engorge on these animals. The differences between the proportions of dip-tanks at which A. hebraeum or R. (Boophilus) microplus was present on goats and cattle and also between the proportions of goats and cattle that were infested were significant (Chi square test, P < 0.01). Adult Rhipicephalus appendiculatus was present on goats at 70 and on cattle at 67 dip-tanks, and a total of 296 goats and 271 cattle were infested. The proportion of dip-tanks at which cattle were infested did not differ significantly from the proportion of tanks at which goats were infested (Fischer's exact probability test, P = 0.44), but the proportion of infested cattle was significantly lower than the proportion of infested goats (Chi-square test, P < 0.05). Adult Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi was present on goats and cattle at all 72 sampling localities, and a total of 334 goats and 316 cattle were infested. The proportion of infested cattle was significantly lower than the proportion of infested goats (Chi-square test, P < 0.05). These results underscore the necessity of including goats in any tick control programme designed for cattle at the same locality.

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