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International Journal of Zoology
Volume 2014, Article ID 359812, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/359812
Research Article

Studies on the Vertical Distribution of Ticks of Domestic Animals and Their Public Health Importance in Nilgiri Hills and Adjoining Areas of Tamil Nadu State (India)

1Centre for Medical Entomology & Vector Management, National Centre for Disease Control, 22 Sham Nath Marg, Delhi 110054, India
2NCDC-Bangalore Branch, 8 NTI Campus, Bellary Road, Bangalore, Karnataka 560003, India

Received 3 July 2014; Revised 26 August 2014; Accepted 26 August 2014; Published 10 September 2014

Academic Editor: Greg Demas

Copyright © 2014 Kaushal Kumar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The Nilgiri hills and adjoining downhill areas provide favourable ecological conditions for the propagation of haematophagous arthropods owing to richness in vegetation and animal activities. A study has been undertaken during 2008–2010 on the distribution and abundance of ticks of domestic animals in seven different biotopes. A total of 3,008 domestic animals were examined in areas ranging from an altitude of 300 to 2200 meters above mean sea level (MSL) of which 1,335 (44.5%) animals were having tick infestation. A total of 6,012 adult and immature ticks belonging to 12 species (11 ixodid and one argasid) were collected. Eleven tick species were collected from Kallar area situated downhill eastern slopes of the Nilgiris followed by Burliar area (7 species) located at higher altitudes. From Masinagudi area near to dense forests and scrub jungles, five species were recorded. However, at higher elevations on the hills, Udhagamandalam area, only one species was recorded. Among various tick species recorded in the study, Boophilus microplus was distributed in almost all areas surveyed followed by Haemaphysalis spinigera and Rhipicephalus sanguineus. The factors governing their distribution and epidemiological significance in the transmission of various tick-borne diseases of public health importance are discussed.