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Veterinary parasitology

Factors related to cattle infestation level and resistance to acaricides in Boophilus microplus tick populations in New Caledonia.


PMID 12581586

Abstract

Boophilus microplus, even in the absence of babesiosis, is a major disease of the cattle in New Caledonia where the particular farming system associates continental European breeds and a tropical climate tempered by the Pacific Ocean. In order to have a better understanding of the factors involved in cattle tick infestation, to decrease the possible wastage and use of chemicals and to increase the lifetime of the acaricides, the veterinary authorities investigated the conditions of the chemical treatments. A survey among 148 cattle farms of the whole of New Caledonia was carried out and factors that explain the development of tick resistance and cattle infestation have been determined. From this survey, three typologies for the main characteristics of the farms have been set up, the technical practices of the farmers and the tick control measures applied by the farmers, respectively. Some variables are significantly associated with the tick resistance to deltamethrin but their contribution to the explanation model is always moderate: farms in the south, with a positive resistance gradient from east to west, absence of bush fire and membership to a cattle farmers organization. The more the farmers have intensified their breeding-male castration, weaning, heifer separation, drenching, etc.-and pasture-high stock rate, mowing, extra feeding of the cows, many paddocks, etc.-techniques, the higher was the probability for the ticks in their farm to be resistant to deltamethrin. The technical details of the acaricide treatment had a low contribution to the explanation model. However, the use of a spray generated more resistance than a dip. Furthermore, there is a negative resistance gradient when the farmers increased the treatment interval average. Considering infestation, none of the variables from the three typologies were associated with the two infestation variables (1: semi-engorged tick females and 2: other ticks) at the herd level. However, the seven studied variables-the three typologies, breed, age, body condition score and breeding status-affected significantly the two infestation variables at the cow level, but their predictive ability remained very low (R(2)<3.5%). This result-individual effect more important than herd effect on the infestation-is confirmed by the importance of the variance of the intra-farm factors (99%) when compared with inter-farm factors (1%). Cows of Charolais breed, in poor body condition, old, pregnant or lactating, and those of the farms with irrational and high pressure control of ticks are the most infested.

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45477
Ethion, PESTANAL®, analytical standard
C9H22O4P2S4