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Distribution and prevalence of ticks and tick-borne pathogens of wild animals in South Africa: A systematic review

Ticks are significant ectoparasites of animals and humans. Published data indicate that most vectors that transmit livestock and human pathogens in sub-Saharan Africa, are native to the region and originate from wild animals. Currently, there is a paucity of information on the role of wild animals on the epidemiology of zoonotic tick-borne pathogens in South Africa. This systematic review focuses on the distribution of ticks and prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in different wild animals in South Africa to identify potential

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Oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus, Buphagus africanus) and tick abundances in acaricide‐treated livestock areas

Since the introduction of acaricides a century ago, their widespread use has enhanced cattle production throughout the world by controlling tick infestations on domestic livestock. Early arsenical and organochlorine acaricides improved overall cattle health but were toxic to oxpeckers (Buphagus spp.), birds endemic to sub‐Saharan Africa which eat ticks on domestic and wild ungulates (Stutterheim, 1982; Stutterheim & Brooke, 1981). Following the introduction of these acaricides, oxpecker populations declined significantly, though this trend was reversed as target‐specific acaricides increased in use

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Factors influencing host selection by yellow-billed oxpeckers at Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe

Oxpecker host selection appears to be governed by an array of factors affecting the efficiency of foraging for ticks, with optimally foraging oxpeckers choosing those hosts that maximize tick intake and/or minimize search time. We studied yellow-billed oxpeckers Buphagus africanus (Linnaeus) at Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe, in order to examine the relationship between host selection and seasonal tick abundance, host characteristics and water availability. Preference ranks were highly correlated between the dry and wet seasons, implying that relative tick burdens of

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Theileria spp. in free ranging giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) in Zambia

Theileria parasites were detected in five apparently healthy free-ranging giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis Linnaeus, 1758) captured for translocation on a game ranch located approximately 60 km south west of Lusaka. Giemsa-stained blood smears examined under a light microscope showed characteristic oval and rod shaped intra-erythrocytic piroplasms. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products targeted on the 18S rRNA gene showed characteristic bands of Theileria spp. The average number of infected blood cells per field examined by light microscopy was estimated at 48.6% (n=50,

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Arthropod parasites of springbok, gemsbok, kudus, giraffes and Burchell’s and Hartmann’s zebras in the Etosha and Hardap Nature Reserve, Namibia

A total of 48 springbok, 48 gemsbok, 23 kudus and 6 giraffes were examined for ticks and lice, while 9 Burchell’s zebras and 6 Hartmann’s mountain zebras were examined only for ticks. Springbok and gemsbok were shot in both the Etosha National Park in the north and the Hardap Nature Reserve in the south of Namibia. All the other animals were shot in the Etosha National Park. A total of 7 ixodid tick species and 8 lice species were recovered.

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Protozoan and bacterial pathogens in tick salivary glands in wild and domestic animal environments in South Africa

A total of 7364 ticks belonging to 13 species was collected from 64 game animals (belonging to 11 species) and from 64 livestock animals (cattle and sheep) living in close vicinity at 6 localities in 3 South African Provinces (Free State, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo). The geographic distribution of all tick species was congruent with the literature except for Haemaphysalis silacea. From each infested host, a maximum of 10 males and 10 females of each tick species were dissected to isolate

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