Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 119–124 | Cite as

Prevalence and species composition of ixodid ticks infesting horses in three agroecologies in central Oromia, Ethiopia

  • Bersissa KumsaEmail author
  • Habtamu Tamrat
  • Getachew Tadesse
  • Nigatu Aklilu
  • Rudi Cassini
Original Research


A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the species composition and prevalence of ixodid ticks infesting horses in three agroecological zones in central Ethiopia. For this purpose, a total of 1,168 horses were examined for tick infestation. An overall prevalence of 39.04% of tick infestation on horses was recorded. A total of 917 adult ticks were collected from infested horses. Amblyomma, Boophilus, Rhipicephalus, and Hyalomma genera with the respective prevalence of 3.2%, 1.8%, 29.2%, and 4.7% were identified. In the study, Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi was encountered with the highest prevalence (15.8%) whereas Amblyomma gemma was with lowest prevalence (1.5%). From the highland, Hyalomma marginatum rufipes (3.1%), Hyalomma truncatum (1.0%), and Boophilus decoloratus (0.3%) were identified. From the midland, R. evertsi evertsi (27.5%), Rhipicephalus pulchellus (18%), Amblyomma variegatum (3.6%), B. decoloratus (2.8%), H. marginatum rufipes (2.6%), H. truncatum (1.8%), and A. gemma (1.5%) were identified. R. evertsi evertsi, 107 (27.5%), was with the highest prevalence in the midland. From the lowland, R. pulchellus (22.3%), R. evertsi evertsi (20%), H. truncatum (3.6%), A. gemma (3.1%), B. decoloratus (2.3%), H. marginatum rufipes (2.1%), and A. variegatum (1.5%) were identified. In the lowland, R. pulchellus, 87 (22.3%), was the most abundant tick species. The overall prevalence of tick infestation on horses was significantly (P < 0.05) higher both in the midland, 225 (57.8%), and the lowland, 214 (54.87%), than the highland, 17 (4.4%). This suggests that horses in midland and lowland are at higher risk of tick infestation than those horses in the highland. Further studies on the role of ticks in transmission of diseases to equines and the importance of horses as alternative hosts in different parts of Ethiopia are needed.


Highland Horse Lowland Midland Prevalence Ixodid tick species 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bersissa Kumsa
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Habtamu Tamrat
    • 1
  • Getachew Tadesse
    • 2
  • Nigatu Aklilu
    • 3
  • Rudi Cassini
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Parasitology, School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Health SciencesAddis Ababa UniversityBishoftuEthiopia
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Health SciencesAddis Ababa UniversityBishoftuEthiopia
  3. 3.Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad (SPANA), School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Health SciencesAddis Ababa UniversityBishoftuEthiopia
  4. 4.Department of Experimental Veterinary SciencesUniversity of PadovaLegnaroItaly

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