Tick surveillance

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Collection of ticks from live cattle

Term: 2013
Published: November 18, 2013
Revised: July 30, 2015

Fact sheet

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Fact sheet: Tick surveillance Prof Maxime Madder Attribution

Fact sheet: Tick surveillance

Tick surveillance

The surveillance of vectors and vector-borne diseases is essential for their control. Vector-borne diseases have a severe impact on animal and human health and many are expanding their range into new areas. Adequate surveillance systems are necessary to monitor disease outbreaks and introductions into new areas.

Tick sampling

Ticks are collected, sent to an appropriate laboratory alive, or preserved in ethanol (70%), then further processed. For surveillance purposes, ticks are trapped, identified, sorted by sex, age, physiological type etc., counted and stored for further studies.

Tick sampling /collection methods

Different sampling methods for ticks are available, some of them adapted to the biology and behaviour of the tick species that one wants to collect, while others are more general in a sense that they can be applied to collect a variety of ticks. Especially free-living ticks with a “hunting” behaviour, like Amblyomma species, are sampled using dry ice traps as they mimick the carbon dioxide produced by their hosts. Questing ticks like larvae of the one host tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, vector of bovine babesiosis and anaplasmosis, are sampled using the dragging apparatus. The parasitic stages (on-host) of most ticks species can be collected on the host itself.

Find out more

  • Tick Importance and transmission: The ticks of veterinary importance and the different routes of transmission, including transovarial, transtadial and intrastadial transmission are described.
  • Identification of ticks: The systematics and taxonomy of ticks, the seasonal occurrence, different life cycles, tick morphology and identification and differential diagnosis of ticks of veterinary importance are described.
  • Control of ticks: Different control strategies (chemical, biological and vaccines), principles of acaricide resistance, and the effect of tick control on endemic stability of tick-borne diseases are described, and information is provided on the different chemical products available.
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This Work, Tick surveillance, by Prof Maxime Madder is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.