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Ticks: Habitat & Ecology

Ticks: Habitat & Ecology

Tick are distributed widely across the world; though they are higher in countries like India, UAE, North America & other East-Asian Countries.

They are spreading yet day by day to many countries & usually flourish at places of warmth & humid climates. This is because they require a certain amount of moisture in the air to undergo metamorphosis (transformation); as low temperatures inhibit their development from egg to larva.

Scenario In India (3 Tick Species):
In a study conducted in Chennai, Babesia Gibsoni, a tick species was reported with a prevalence of 0.1%  in client-owned dogs using bloods smear evaluation only. Other studies report 9% and 22% of dogs in Uttar Pradesh and Assam respectively.

The few studies investigating the prevalence of Ehrlichia Canis Tick in India, using conventional examination of stained blood smears have reported prevalence of 0.35% in Punjab, 18.9% in Nagpur and 55% in stray dogs in Maharashtra.

Canis has been reported most frequently as a sub-clinical infection in the north-west region of India, with a prevalence range of 3 to 9% in Punjab In other parts of the world, coinfection of H. canis with other infectious agents such as Ehrlichia, Leishmania and parvovirus is common.

In a study the most prevalent canine TBD (Tick Borne Disease) pathogen was Hepatozoon canis, and Rhipicephalus ticks were the most common arthropod vectors  which are identified in Delhi and Mumbai.

Eco-system: Where A Tick Is Probable To Grow?
For an ecosystem to support ticks, it has to satisfy two requirements:

  • The population density of host species must be high
  • Humidity to be high so that they remain hydrated

It is seen that migrating birds can carry ticks with them. According to a a study, half of the bird species were examined carrying ticks in Egypt. The species of ticks often differ between autumn and spring migrations, probably because of the seasonal periodicities of the different species.

Source: Parasites & Vectors Magazine, Wall & Shearer (2001), Allan (2001)

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