When the dip has no zip: Integrated parasite management for the cattle tick Rhipicephalus microplus in tropical countries


Researcher, School of Agricultural Science, University of Antioquia, Udea, Columbia

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The concept of “Integrated Parasite Management” (IPM) basically refers to the combined use of safer technologies to control parasites without relying solely on the use of chemical treatment. The cattle fever tick (CFT) “Rhipicephalus microplus” is used as an example to illustrate the principles of IPM. In tropical countries like Colombia, the CTF and associated tick-borne diseases like babesiosis impact the livelihood of many livestock farmers. CFT control has relied heavily on animal treatments with chemical acaricides, many of which are no longer effective. Additionally, the irrational use of acaricides has environmental implications, which can make animal agriculture unsustainable. This webinar covers background information on the life cycle of the CTF and its role in providing endemic stability for Babesia spp, a critical element to elaborate rational management practices when the CTF poses a threat to livestock health and production. Diagrams show “how” and “why” parasite resistance eventually emerges in any farm where the intense use of acaricides is practiced. Specific examples of field cases in Colombia will be discussed. The molecular basis of acaricide resistance will be explained. Finally, emerging and alternative non-chemical control methods that could be used for integrated CTF control will be discussed.

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