Original Paper

Parasitology Research

, Volume 112, Issue 2, pp 789-797

Identification of hard ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) and seroprevalence to Theileria parva in cattle raised in North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Moïse Kasereka KalumeAffiliated withFaculty of Veterinary Medicine, Catholic University of Graben
  • , Claude SaegermanAffiliated withResearch Unit in Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Applied to the Veterinary Sciences (UREAR), Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège
  • , Daniel Kambale MbahikyavoloAffiliated withFaculty of Veterinary Medicine, Catholic University of Graben
  • , Alexis M’Pondi MakumyaviriAffiliated withFaculty of Veterinary Medicine, Catholic University of Graben
  • , Tanguy MarcottyAffiliated withAnimal Health, Institute of Tropical MedicineDepartment of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria
  • , Maxime MadderAffiliated withAnimal Health, Institute of Tropical MedicineDepartment of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria
  • , Yannick CaronAffiliated withLaboratory of Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases, Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège
  • , Laetitia LempereurAffiliated withLaboratory of Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases, Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège
  • , Bertrand LossonAffiliated withLaboratory of Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases, Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège Email author 

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Abstract

This study aimed to identify tick species and to determine their relationship with the Theileria parva seroprevalence in cattle raised under an extensive farming system in North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo in two agro-ecological zones namely medium (1,000–1,850 m) and high (>1,850 m) altitude. Among the 3,215 ticks collected on 482 animals, from February to April 2009, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus (64.26 %), the main vector of T. parva, was the most abundant species followed by Rhipicephalus decoloratus (35.49 %) and Amblyomma variegatum (0.25 %). The mean burden of R. appendiculatus tick per infested animal appeared significantly higher at medium (6.5 ± 0.22 ticks) than at high (0.07 ± 0.3 ticks) altitude (P < 0.05). However, an indirect fluorescent antibody test carried out on 450 blood samples revealed a global T. parva seroprevalence of 43 % (95 % CI: 38–47) which was not significantly (P > 0.05) different between medium (48.4 %; 95 % CI: 38–49) and high (41.9 %; 95 % CI: 35–49) altitude. These relatively low seroprevalences suggest that there is a state of endemicity to T. parva infection in the study area. The presence of the tick vector on animals was associated with an increased risk of being seropositive to T. parva infection (odds ratio = 2.04; 95 % CI: 1.8–2.3; P < 0.001). The results suggest the need for a longitudinal study to investigate the seasonal dynamics of tick species and T. parva infection. The rate of tick infection should also be evaluated in order to determine the intensity of T. parva transmission to cattle.