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Species Distribution and Seasonal Dynamics of Equine Tick Infestation in Two Subtropical Climate Niches in Punjab, Pakistan

Sadaqat Ali1, 2, Muhammad Ijaz1*, Awais Ghaffar1, Muhammad Oneeb3, Awais Masud4, Aneela Zameer Durrani1 and Muhammad Imran Rashid3

1Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore 54600, Pakistan
2University College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur 63100, Pakistan; 3Department of Parasitology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore 54600, Pakistan
4District Diagnostic Laboratory, Livestock and Dairy Development Department, Mianwali 44200, Pakistan
*Corresponding author:


Ticks are major external parasites of horses that affect animal welfare and transmit many infections. Little is known about the epidemiology of ticks in horses in Pakistan. Keeping in view the significance of horses and its importance, a cross-sectional study was designed to investigate species distribution, seasonal dynamics and epidemiology of ticks infesting horses in Pakistan. By convenience sampling, 500 horses in two districts (Sargodha and Lahore) of Punjab were screened for the presence of ticks from January to December 2017. Tick samples were collected from horses and identified to species level. Data of temporospatial, host and husbandry practices-related risk factors were recorded in a separate questionnaire. Ticks representing six species were collected i.e. Hyalomma impeltatum (n=52), H. impressum (n=25), H. excavatum (n=9), H. anatolicum (n=3), H. scupense (n=3) and H. dromedarii (n=3). The sex ratio of collected ticks showed 63 (66.32%) male and 32 (33.68%) female. In both districts, predominant species in horses was H. impeltatum. All infested horses had more than one tick species. The overall proportion of tick infested horses was 7% (35/500), which was high in district Lahore (8.15%) than district Sargodha (5.99%). Summer, ≤3 body condition score, satisfactory nutritional status, same breed rearing system, presence of dogs and absence of birds at farms, and activity were important risk factors associated with high equine tick infestation. This is the first report regarding the presence of H. dromedarii in the horses of Punjab.

To Cite This Article: Ali S, Ijaz M, Ghaffar A, Oneeb M, Masud A, Durrani AZ and Rashid MI, 2020. Species distribution and seasonal dynamics of equine tick infestation in two subtropical climate niches in Punjab, Pakistan. Pak Vet J, 40(1): 25-30.  


ISSN 0253-8318 (Print)
ISSN 2074-7764 (Online)