Survey of tick species infesting cattle of Bukhaweka sub county, Namisindwa district
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A survey of tick species infesting cattle in Bukhaweka Sub County Namisindwa district was conducted in January 2020. The people of Bukhaweka Sub County are mixed small holder farmers; raring cross breeds of dairy cattle, poultry, goats and pigs but focuses more on dairy cattle for a living. The ticks were collected from four regions of the body of the cattle, identified as region A (head, neck and brisket parts), region B (belly and back parts), region C (udder/ scrotum and legs), and region D (tail and perineal parts). The collected ticks were counted, recorded and put in the well labeled plastic bottle containing 70% alcohol, then transported to parasitology laboratory of collage of veterinary medicine animal resources and biosecurity (COVAB), Makerere University for identification to species level using the morphological features. Three species of ticks were identified, Boophilus decoloratus, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus and Amblyoma variegatum with Boophilus being more abundant because out of 2,750 ticks collected, 2070 were Boophilus with prevalence of 75%, followed by Rhipicephalus appendiculatus with 22% (602 in number), and finally by Amblyoma variegatum with the least numbers 3% (39 in number). A total of 1,375 hard ticks were collected from half of the body of 384 cattle. Out of 384 cattle examined, only 95 had no ticks. The overall prevalence was calculated by dividing the number of positive samples (289) by the total sample size and multiplied by 100, yielding an overall prevalence of 75%. In this research, factors found to have impact on tick burden are; the unmarried, farmers who do not control ticks and farmers whose main source of income is from business and jobs because their odds ratio were above one according to regression and binary logistics. The study indicated that there was high burden of ticks in Bukhaweka Sub County. However, the attention given to control of infestation had not been sufficient as many only use acaricide application as the main method of tick control in the area.