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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MINING THE GENOME OF RHIPICEPHALUS MICROPLUS TO DEVELOP NOVEL CONTROL TECHNOLOGY AND VACCINES

Location: Tick and Biting Fly Research

Title: Evaluation of a passive self-treatment technology for pastured cattle with a doramectin-medicated molasses-based liquid feed supplement for the control of southern cattle ticks

Authors
item Davey, Ronald
item Pound, Joe
item Lohmeyer, Kimberly
item Klavons, Jerome

Submitted to: Livestock Insect Worker's Conference Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 23, 2012
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The treatment of cattle every 14 days for the eradication of cattle fever ticks carries a high financial burden for producers. Thus, most producers who have ticks detected on their property choose to vacate the premises of all livestock instead of dipping animals every 14 days. However, the vacation option has failed to eliminate ticks on numerous occasions because of the involvement of white-tailed deer. Thus, there is a critical need to identify and develop strategies that reduce the need for frequent gathering of animals, while still achieving eradication as a goal. A 31-week study was conducted to evaluate whether a molasses-based liquid feed supplement medicated with doramectin would substantially reduce the number of required treatments while eradicating ticks from the pasture. Results showed that no countable ticks were obtained from treated animals after the 11th week of the study, indicating that the doramectin treatment was highly effective in preventing ticks from reaching repletion. Likewise, results showed that the concentration of doramectin in the serum of treated animals remained above 8.4 ppb for the entire study, thereby confirming that the treatment would prevent ticks from reaching repletion and sustaining the field population. Therefore, this study strongly indicated the use of this technology has great potential as a "stand alone" treatment method for eradication of a field population of cattle fever ticks.

Technical Abstract: The treatment of cattle every 14 days for the eradication of cattle fever ticks carries a high financial burden for producers. Thus, most producers who have ticks detected on their property choose to vacate the premises of all livestock instead of dipping animals every 14 days. However, the vacation option has failed to eliminate ticks on numerous occasions because of the involvement of white-tailed deer. Thus, there is a critical need to identify and develop strategies that reduce the need for frequent gathering of animals, while still achieving eradication as a goal. A 31-week study was conducted to evaluate whether a molasses-based liquid feed supplement medicated with doramectin would substantially reduce the number of required treatments, while eradicating ticks from the pasture. Results showed that no countable ticks were obtained from treated animals after the 11th week of the study, indicating that the doramectin treatment was highly effective in preventing ticks from reaching repletion. Likewise, results showed that the concentration of doramectin in the serum of treated animals remained above 8.4 ppb for the entire study, thereby confirming that the treatment would prevent ticks from reaching repletion and sustaining the field population. Therefore, this study strongly indicated the use of this technology has great potential as a "stand alone" treatment method for eradication of a field population of cattle fever ticks.

Last Modified: 8/1/2014
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