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Research ArticleOpen Access

Prevalence of Bovine Ticks in and Around Ambo District, West Shoa Zone, Oromia Regional State Volume 45- Issue 3

Tadese Gudeta Bayisa1* and Gadise Salgena Duguma2

  • 1Ambo District Agricultural Office, Livestock and Fishery Resource and Development Sub-sector, Ethiopia
  • 2Toke kutaye district Agriculcural office, livestock sector, Ethiopia

Received: July 11, 2022;   Published: July 28, 2022

*Corresponding author: Tadese Gudeta Bayisa, Ambo district Agriculture office, livestock sub-sector, west shoa zone, Ethiopia

DOI: 10.26717/BJSTR.2022.45.007195

Abstract PDF


Ticks are harmful blood sucking external parasites of livestock that are distributed in all agro-ecological zones in Ethiopia. A cross sectional study was conducted to identify major tick genera, prevalence and assess tick infestation load on cattle in Ambo district West shoa zone Oromia regional state. A total of 384 animals were sampled using random sampling technique. Of the total examined animals, 57.6% (n=221/384) tick infestation prevalence was recorded. There was no statistically significant difference in prevalence of tick infestation among male and female animals (χ2=0.38; p=0.540). There was statistically significance of prevalence of ticks according to age group (χ2=17.06; p=0.000). Animals with poor body condition score had significantly higher tick prevalence (86.8%) than medium (48.2%) and good body condition score (38.6%) animals (χ2=61.71; p=0.000). This finding indicated that there is high prevalence of tick infestation in the area which alarms for further detailed investigation and designing efficient method of tick control in the study area.


Ethiopia has an extremely diverse topography, a wide range of climatic features and a multitude of agro-ecological zones that are suitable to host a very huge animal population [1]. The country has the largest livestock population in Africa with the estimated domestic animal more than 60.4 million cattle, 31.3 million sheep, 32.7 million goats, 1.41 million camels, 56 million poultry, 2 million horses, 0.46 million mules and 8.8 million donkeys [2]. The livestock subsector has an enormous contribution to Ethiopia’s national economy and livelihoods of many Ethiopians. The subsector contributes about 16.5% and 35.6% of the overall agricultural GDP [3] and promising to rally round the economic development of the country [4]. Livestock production in many parts of the world is constrained by several factors [5]. Ectoparasite particularly ticks have considerable impact on the animals either directly or by transmission of tick-borne disease. Ticks and tickborne disease affects 90% of the world cattle population and are widely distributed throughout the world, particularly in tropical and subtropical countries [6]. Ethiopia losses income generation due to tick infestation through degraded skin quality and reduce production capacity. As a result, economic impact of ticks and control of tick-borne diseases remain challenge for the cattle industry of the world and it is a priority for many countries in tropical and subtropical regions [7]. There are about seven genera of ticks of veterinary importance in Africa [8], out of which four genera (Amblyomma, Haemaphysalis, Hyalomma, and Rhipicephalus) are commonly found in Ethiopia [9-13]. In addition to this, in Ethiopia there are about 47 species of ticks infesting livestock and most of them have importance as vector and disease agent and also have damaging effect on skin and hide production [14].

Extensive survey has been also carried out on the distribution of tick species on livestock in different regions of the country in which different tick species such as Rh. (Boophilus) decoloratus,

Amblyomma varigatum, Amblyomma cohaerence, Amblyomma, gemma, R. evertsi eversti, Hyalomma marginatum rufipes, Hyalomma truncatumi, Amblyommaelide, Rhipicephalus pulchellus are also frequently reported in many tick survey carried out in the different part of the country [10-13]. In Ethiopia, tick occupy the first place amongst the external parasites by the economic loss it incurred when they infest livestock particularly cattle [15]. Moreover, Different tick species were reported by different authors based on the distribution and abundance of tick species in different parts of the country. They reduce cattle productivity, such as milk yield, quality of skin and increase susceptibility to other diseases. This study aimed to assess the identification and species of ixodidea ticks in Ambo district, west shoa zone, central Ethiopia. The district is known by mixed agriculture where cattle production is the dominant agricultural component. So, the relevant data on the distribution of ticks is essential for the development of effective tick and tick-borne disease control strategies. Studying ticks on livestock under their natural conditions without any control measure is also useful for understanding the host parasite relationship and variation of tick population in different agroecological zone. Thus, the objective of this study was to generating information on prevalence, risk factors, types and distribution of cattle ticks in study area

Materials and Methods

Study area

The present study was conducted in Ambo district from November 2021 to June 2022. Ambo is a town in central Ethiopia, located in the West Shoa Zone of the Oromia Regional State, West of Addis Ababa. This town is located at 114 Km from Addis Ababa and it has a latitude and longitude of 8°59′N 37°51′E and an elevation of 1380 to 3300 m.a.s.l. This area receives 800mm to 1000mm of annual rainfall, which is 70% (long term) rainfall from June to September and 30% (short term) rainfall from February to April. The monthly minimum and maximum temperature are 15 degree Celsius and 29 degree Celsius respectively. The Ambo area constitutes 35.3% highland, 14.7% lowland and 50% midland from the total coverage. The agricultural scenario is mixed crop-livestock farming system, which is dominated by crop production system. The livestock populations of the area are estimated as 164243 cattle, 68652 sheep, 31009 goats, 11130 horses, 12130 donkeys, 222 mules, and 96030 poultry. The livestock production of the area is an extensive type where animals are kept on grazing pasture but there are also some intensive and semi intensive animal production system [16].

Study Animals

The study animals were cattle of all age, sex and body condition scores found in the Ambo district. The cattle depend on grazing throughout the year for their feed sources with little supplementation of crop residues. The study cattle were categorized in to three groups based on their age as young (<3 years), adult (3 to 7 years) and old (> 7 years) [17] and body condition score were employing after categorizing the animals in to Good (G+, G, G-), Medium (M+, M, M-), Poor (P+, P, P-) based on their body score [18].

Study Design

A cross sectional study designed were conducted from November 2021 to June 2022 to estimate the prevalence of hard tick genera infestation and prevalence of tick species, determined risk factor for its occurrence in Ambo district.

Sample Size Determination and Sampling Method

The desired sample size for the study was calculated by the formula given by [19].

n = sample size, pexp =expected prevalence,
d = desired absolute precision and
Z (1.962) is a constant from normal distribution table.

Since there was no previous study conducted on tick in cattle in the area, sample size was determined by assuming 50% absolute precision and 95% confidence level. Based on the above formula the required size was calculated as 384. Simple random sampling technique was followed to select individual animals. During sampling, species, age, sex and body condition of the animals will be recorded.

Laboratory Procedures

Tick Genera and Species Identification: Ticks were identified to the genera and species level according to their morphological key structures such as shape of scutum, leg colour, scutum ornamentation, body grooves, punctuations, basis capitulum, coxaes and ventral plates. During tick identification in the laboratory the sample were put on petridish and adult ticks were identified to genus level and species level under a stereomicroscope using the standard identification keys of [20,21].

Data Analysis

All the data recorded in this study was first entered into Microsoft excel. Before subjected to statistical analysis, the data were thoroughly screened for errors and all data properly coded. SPSS software version 22.0 was used to perform the statistical analysis. Descriptive statistical analysis such as table was used to summarize and present the collected data. Ticks prevalence was calculated as percentage by dividing the number of animals positive to the total sampled animals. (Chi-square (χ²)) test was employed to assess the existence of association between tick infested cattle’s and different potential risk factors like different age groups, sexes, body condition considered in the study. For this analysis P-value <0.05 was considered significant whereas P value >0.05 considered non-significant.


Prevalence of Tick Infestation

Out of the total 384 examined animals, 221 were positive for ticks with an overall prevalence of 57.6% each animal harbouring at least a single tick (Table 1).

Table 1. Overall prevalence of tick in study area.


Note: *Significant

Prevalence of Tick Relates to Different Risk Factors

Prevalence of tick infestation among male animals was 56.9% (78/137), while it was 58.7% (145/247) in females with no significant difference (χ2 =0.38; p>0.05). There was significant difference in tick infestation rate among age group (χ2= 17.06; p<0.05). Cattle with poor BCS showed significantly higher prevalence (χ2 =61.71; p<0.05) than cattle with good BCS (Table 2).

Table 2. Prevalence of tick relates to different risk factors.


Note: *Significant


In the present study, 57.6% overall prevalence of tick infestation was observed in the cattle found in the district. This high prevalence of tick infestation showed that tick is widely distributed and most significant external parasites of cattle in the district. High tick infestation in the area could be attributed to the environmental factors such as humidity that are conducive for the survival and growth of developmental stages and reproduction of ticks. The current finding is in agreement with study by [22] in Asela. Several other reports revealed higher tick infestation prevalence of cattle in different geographic areas of the country such as [23] (74%) in Bahir Dar; and [24] (65.5%) in Wolaita Soddo, southern Ethiopia. From the study animals in the study period, in poor body condition cattle higher number of tick infestation was observed (86.6%), it was agreed with [23], they reported prevalence of 74% in Arbegona Woredas, southern Ethiopia. This was due to the fact that medium body condition animals have reduced resistance and are exposed to any kind of disease when grazing on the field, and poor body conditioned animals were kept at home due to their inability to walk long distant areas, so they become less infested than medium and good sized animals but the well fed animals were very resistant to any kind of diseases when they grazed in the field or are kept at home [25].


In the current study higher tick infestation was found in the area. It was also found that older animal were more infested than adult one and animals with poor body condition were more infested by ticks than those in good body condition implying possible association of tick infestation with economic loss.

Therefore, based on the above conclusion, the following recommendations are forwarded:

• Further detailed study on the economic losses associated with tick infestation as well as designing efficient method of tick control would have great importance.
• Awareness creation on impact of tick is the prerequisite to be given for cattle owners
• The government, privet sectors and veterinarians should work in co-operation in order to minimize ectoparasite and their impact on health and productivity of cattle.


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