Journal of the South African Veterinary Association
On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
SMITH, E R and PARKER, D M. Tick communities at the expanding wildlife/cattle interface in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa: implications for Corridor disease. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2010, vol.81, n.4, pp. 237-240. ISSN 2224-9435.
Corridor disease, transmitted by the brown ear tick (Rhipicephalus appendiculatus), is one of Africa's most pathogenic tick-borne diseases for cattle. With a focus on this species, we investigated the community parameters (richness, diversity and abundance) of ticks in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, and how this may be linked to the increasing wildlife/cattle interface in the region. There were significantly more ticks of a greater diversity and richness at sites positioned at the wildlife/cattle interface ('treatment sites') compared to sites where wildlife was absent (controls). Significantly, R. appendiculatus was only found at the treatment sites. Therefore, it is believed that the wildlife/cattle interface may be playing a crucial role in increasing the occurrence, abundance and distribution of R. appendiculatus in the Eastern Cape. The implications of a Corridor disease outbreak in the region are discussed.
Keywords : buffalo; disease-free; Theileria; ticks.