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Prospects for Innovative Tick Control Methods in Africa

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 September 2011

Godwin P. Kaaya
Department of Biology, University of Namibia, Private Bag 13301, Windhoek, Namibia
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Ticks, and the diseases they transmit, are of great economic and medical importance worldwide, and especially in Africa, where they are considered to be the greatest animal disease problem. The four major genera of ticks are Amblyomma, Rhipicephalus, Hyalomma and Boophilus. Ticks harm their animal hosts by sucking their blood thus reducing growth rate and milk yield, cause mechanical damage to hides and skins causing tick worry, introduce toxins and predispose the animals to myasis. Theileriosis, cowdriosis and dermatophilosis are the major tick-borne and tick-associated diseases of grazing cattle in Africa. The conventional method of tick control is the application of chemical acaricides, but it is associated with a number of problems including environmental pollution, chemical residues in meat and milk products as well as in wool, development of tick resistance and high cost. Some of the alternatives to chemical control of ticks that are available in Africa are discussed in this paper.


Les tiques et les maladies qu'elles transmettent sont d'une grande importance économique et médicale dans le monde, et plus particulièrement en Afrique, où elles sont considérées comme le principal problème sanitaire du bétail. Les quatre principaux genres de tiques sont Amblyomma, Rhipicephalus, Hyalomma et Boophilus. Les tiques nuisent à la santé de leur hôte en suçant leur sang, ce qui se traduit par une réduction du taux de croissance et de la production laitière. Ils sont responsables d'altérations du cuir et de l'épiderme provoquant des lésions, injectent des toxines et prédisposent les animaux aux myases. La theilériose, la cowdriose et la dermatophilose sont les principales maladies des animaux de pâturage transmises par les tiques en Afrique. La méthode traditionnelle de contrôle des tiques est l'application d'acaricides chimiques mais elle s'accompagne de nombreux effets secondaires, parmi lesquels une pollution de l'environnement, la présence de résidus chimiques dans la viande et le lait ainsi que dans la laine, le développement de résistance chez les tiques et un coût élevé. Quelques unes des alternatives au contrôle chimique des tiques disponibles en Afrique sont présentées dans cette publication.

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Copyright © ICIPE 2003

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