Population dynamics of ticks infesting the one-humped camel (Camelus dromedarius) in central Tunisia.Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2013 Dec; 4(6):488-91.TT
A tick population was monitored on 30 camels (Camelus dromedarius) over one year in Kairouan region, Central Tunisia. A total of 1630 ticks was collected and identified resulting in an estimate of different parasitological indicators. The ticks belonged to 2 genera and 5 species: Hyalomma impeltatum (53%) and Hyalomma dromedarii (45%) were the dominant species followed by Hyalomma excavatum (1%), Hyalomma marginatum (0.5%), and Rhipicephalus turanicus (0.5%) (p<0.001). Mean infestation prevalence was 90.6%; all the animals were infested by at least one tick from May to September. The highest mean prevalence was observed in H. impeltatum (60%), the lowest was reported in R. turanicus (0.03%) (p<0.05). Mean overall intensity of infestation was 4.4 ticks/animal. The highest mean intensity was observed in H. impeltatum (2.7 ticks/animal). Overall mean abundance of ticks was 4.4 ticks/animal. Different abiotic factors, namely monthly mean minimum and monthly mean maximum temperatures and the number of sunny days were positively correlated with overall monthly tick burdens which were in turn negatively correlated with the monthly mean relative humidity. This is the first study on camel tick dynamics in Tunisia.