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Prev Vet Med. 2002 Feb 14;53(1-2):21-30.

Seasonal epidemiology of ticks and aspects of cowdriosis in N'Dama village cattle in the Central Guinea savannah of Côte d'Ivoire.

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Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, Swiss Tropical Institute, P.O. Box, 4002 Basle, Switzerland.


In the Central Guinea savannah of Côte d'Ivoire, cattle breeding started only approximately 30 years ago. The impact of parasitism on the overall health status and productivity of the trypanotolerant N'Dama cattle in this area is unknown. In close collaboration with national veterinary institutions and local farmers, we studied spectrum, burden and seasonal dynamics of ticks (including aspects of cowdriosis) on N'Dama village cattle. In a longitudinal study, three randomly selected cattle herds (traditional farming type) of one village were examined repeatedly for ticks. Spectrum, burden, seasonal epidemiology of ticks were assessed. In these traditional herds (which lack (ecto)parasite management), all animals were infested by ticks at monthly counts. Five different tick species were identified; the four genera in order of frequency were: Amblyomma (overall prevalence 96%), Boophilus (47%), Hyalomma (<1%) and Rhipicephalus (<1%). Amblyomma variegatum was the most-abundant tick on cattle in all seasons. Seroprevalence of Cowdria ruminantium was 31% (95% CI: 26, 36%). Most of the animals typically carried low tick burdens. N'Dama cattle seem well adapted to their environment and can resist the tick burdens under this traditional farming system.

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