Studies on host resistance to tick infestations among trypanotolerant bos indicus cattle breeds in east africa

E.K. Mwangi, P. Stevenson, J.M. Ndung'u, M.J. Stear, S.W.J. Reid, G. Gettinby, M.D. Murray

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Recent epidemiological studies carried out in East Africa have indicated that some Bos indicus cattle breeds such as the Orma Boran and Maasai Zebu have a degree of trypanotolerance worth exploitation by their introduction into trypanosomosis endemic areas where other cattle breeds cannot survive. However, in most areas of East Africa, trypanosomosis, ticks, and tick-borne diseases occur together. It is therefore important to obtain information on the susceptibility of these breeds to tick infestation and tick-borne diseases. This study was therefore designed to determine the susceptibility of these cattle breeds to tick infestations. They were compared with the Galana Boran (trypanosusceptible) and the Friesian (susceptible to tick infestations, tick-borne diseases, and trypanosomosis). The four breeds of cattle were exposed to natural tick challenge for a period of seven months and whole body weekly tick counts were done on each animal. Significant differences to tick infestations among the four breeds were observed. For both Rhipicephalus appendiculatus and Boophilus decoloratus, susceptibility to infestation increased in the order, Maasai Zebu, Orma Boran, Galana Boran and Friesian. The results generated by this pilot study so far suggest that variation in susceptibility to tick infestations exists among the four breeds. The Orma Boran and Maasai Zebu showed greater resistance to tick-infestations than the Galana Boran and Friesian. This suggests that utilization of these trypanotolerant cattle breeds could be feasible even in the face of tick challenge and should therefore be considered when planning integrated trypanosomosis and tick control strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-208
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • host resistance
  • tick infestations
  • trypanotolerant bos indicus
  • cattle


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