Laboratory and field evaluation of an autoinoculation device as a tool to manage poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, infestations with Beauveria bassiana
The poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, is a cosmopolitan ectoparasite in hens and has been considered an important threat to the egg production industry. This study evaluated an alternative to manage poultry red mite populations as a complement to conventional chemical treatments and other control strategies in poultry houses. A simple autoinoculation device prepared with corrugated cardboard (CB) or loofah sponge (LS) as inert supports to anchor Beauveria bassiana conidia was used to aggregate and infect mites from infested poultry houses. In the laboratory, mites gathered inside the traps and the average mortalities by the fungus were higher than 70% in CB and LS traps after 5 and 4 days of exposure, respectively. Conidial viability was around 80% in CB and LS traps after 14 and 60 days under unrefrigerated conditions (26 °C), respectively. Both trap types tied to hen cages efficiently captured fed mites after blood meal, and fungal infection was observed in 65–90% of the mites in field tests. Between 5 and 25% of the mites recaptured in monitoring cardboard traps installed immediately after CB and LS removal were infected by B. bassiana. According to our results, the use of B. bassiana in an autoinoculation strategy is a potential alternative method for D. gallinae control.
KeywordsMicrobial control Attract-and-infect Poultry house Animal production
To Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) process 306159/2014-7, Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), and Biocamp Laboratories Ltda. provided financial support to this research. Agroindustry Cooperative Lar allowed access and use of the poultry sheds.
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