Effect of management practices on screw-worm among sheep in São Paulo State, Brazil
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The screw-worm Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel), whose larvae develop in wild and domestic animals as well as in man, is one of the major causes of myiasis in Brazil. Sheep raising is expanding in the state of São Paulo, where information about the infestation of screw-worm is necessary for appropriate control measures. The present data were obtained from questionnaires sent to all sheep breeders belonging to 'Associação Paulista de Criadores de Ovinos' - ASPACO (São Paulo State Association of Sheep Breeders). Response reliability was tested by random visits paid to 10.6% of the respondents. The results show that screw-worm is the most frequent ectoparasite in the flocks and is responsible for the greatest economic losses. Its occurrence is strongly associated with flock size, reaching 100% in hocks consisting of more than 500 animals. Infestation is higher in spring and summer and lowest in the fall. The number of cases increases in the presence of some management practices such as tail amputation. Furthermore, several other associations between the indicators surveyed were also found to be significant. The data obtained will permit the elaboration of strategies for the control of this parasitosis.