An investigation into the distribution, host-preference and population density of Ixodid ticks affecting domestic animals in Bangladesh

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Abstract

To study the distribution, host-preference and population density of ixodid ticks in Bangladesh, an attempt was made to collect adult ticks from various host animals in three distinct topographic zones, viz. flood plains, hills and steppe ‘Barind'. Five species of ixodid ticks were recorded, namely, Boophilus microplus (56.3%), Haemaphysalis bispinosa (11.3%), Rhipicephalus sanguineus (14.7%), Hyalomma anatolicum anatolicum (15.0%) and Amblyomma testudinarium (2.8%). The data showed that B. microplus occurred predominantly on cattle (42.4%). The other hosts involved were buffaloes (12.5%), goats (25.5%) and pigs (8.2%). H. bispinosa mostly parasitized goats (31.5%) rather than cattle (12.0%) and buffaloes (10.8%). R. sanguineus was principally a dog tick (27.4%) but also parasitized cattle (10.8%) and goats (6.8%). H. a. anatolicum was restricted to cattle (19.2%) and A. testudinarium was found on both cattle (4.4%) and pigs (2.3%). These results indicate that ixodid ticks are not strictly host-specific except for H. a. anatolicum. The population density of these ticks was significantly (p < 0.01) influenced by the changing of seasons. B. microplus, H. bispinosa and R. sanguineus were by far the most widely distributed species; the distribution of H. a. anatolicum was restricted to the steppe ‘Barind tract' and A. testudinarium was found in the hilly regions only.

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