Species Identification and Prevalence of Ixodid Ticks in Sheep and Goats Reared in Plateau State, Nigeria

  • H. E. Nnabuife
  • B. M. Matur
  • N. I. Ogo
  • O. N. Goselle
  • J. Budaye
  • G. S. Mwansat
  • A. Egbuji
  • B. C. Echeonwu
  • S. A. Mamman


Tick infestation constitutes a major health challenge and setback to the economically viable livestock industry in Nigeria and the world at large. This informed the continuous research on the economic importance of ticks on domestic animals over the years and research has shown low animal production due to the harm caused by ticks. A total of 300 animals (sheep=121 and goats=179) were selected from three senatorial district of Plateau State. One hundred (100) of the 300 animals were randomly sampled from each Local Government Area (L.G.A.) representing the three senatorial districts. A total of three hundred and twenty three (323) ticks were collected from 139 animals (sheep 81 and goats 58) from September-November, 2018 and identified to species level. Seven species of ticks from three genera were identified of which Rhipicephalus sanguineus had the highest prevalence (54.5%). Higher infestation of tick was recorded in female animals (sheep 71 %; goats 49%) compared to male (sheep 10 %; goats 09%). However, the variation in prevalence between animal type and sex was not statistically significant (P<0.05). The level of infestation was highest in Kanke L.G.A. (68.0%), followed by Jos-South (47.0%) and lowest in Shendam L.G.A. (24.0%). This study revealed that tick infestation on small ruminants cut across the three senatorial zones of Plateau State, posing a high risk of transmission of tick borne pathogens to both humans and animals. Regular treatment of small ruminants and appropriate tick control strategies are advocated and recommended.Keywords: Ixodid Ticks, Infestation, Small ruminants, R. sanguineus, Plateau State, Nigeria