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Agriculture  2013 

Current Limitations in the Control and Spread of Ticks that Affect Livestock: A Review

DOI: 10.3390/agriculture3020221

Keywords: ticks, domestic animals, climate, spread, control strategies

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Abstract:

Ticks are well-known parasites that affect livestock productivity. This paper reviews the current knowledge regarding the spread of ticks with their impact in animal health and the limitations to achieve effective control measures. The forecasted trends in climate play an obvious role in promoting the spread of ticks in several regions. It appears that climate warming is pivotal in the spread and colonization of new territories by Rhipicephalus microplus in several regions of Africa. The reported increase in altitude of this tick species in the mountainous regions of Central and South America appears to be driven by such general trends in climate change. This factor, however, is not the only single contributor to the spread of ticks. The poor management of farms, uncontrolled movements of domestic animals, abundance of wild animals, and absence of an adequate framework to capture the ecological plasticity of certain ticks may explain the complexity of the control measures. In this paper, we review several details regarding the relationships of ticks with the environment, wild fauna and competition with other species of ticks. Our intention is to highlight these relationships with the aim to produce a coherent framework to explore tick ecology and its relationship with animal production systems.

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