An update on the ecological distribution of Ixodid ticks infesting cattle in Rwanda: countrywide cross-sectional survey in the wet and the dry season
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- Bazarusanga, T., Geysen, D., Vercruysse, J. et al. Exp Appl Acarol (2007) 43: 279. doi:10.1007/s10493-007-9121-y
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As part of the epidemiological studies aimed at developing an East Coast fever (ECF) immunisation control strategy, which combines an infection and treatment method with strategic tick control, a countrywide tick survey was carried out in both the dry and the wet season to determine the abundance and the dynamics of the tick populations infesting cattle in Rwanda. Six Ixodid tick species where identified from a total of 12,814 tick specimens collected. Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, the main vector of ECF was the most abundant (91.8%) followed by Boophilus decoloratus (6.1%) and Ambyomma variegatum (1.2%). Few ticks from the three other less economically important Ixodid species (Rhipicephalus compositus, R. evertsi evertsi and Ixodes cavipalpus) were recovered. Both adult and immature stages of the most dominant tick species were found to be widespread with a year round presence. The numbers of ticks were high in low land and medium zones and declined markedly in the higher regions of Rwanda. The geographical distribution of various tick species throughout the country and their epidemiological implications are discussed.