Tick infestation level interferes with spray formulation (organophosphate + pyrethroid) efficacy against Rhipicephalus microplus
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Due to the scarcity of information regarding the control of Rhipicephalus microplus on bovines with different tick burdens, tick counts and the efficacy of a commercial spray formulation (aspersion bath with organophosphate + pyrethroid) were evaluated for animals with a low and high tick burdens for 35 days in a stall test. Thirty-two crossbreed Bos taurus indicus x Bos t. taurus experimentally infested with R. microplus larvae were divided into four groups: T01 high infestation control, T02 high infestation treated, T03 low infestation control, and T04 low infestation treated. The bovines were kept individually in pens and R. microplus females were collected daily. All data were statistically analyzed with a significance level of 5% (P ≤ 0.05). For linear regressions, variables with P≤0.05 and the highest coefficients of determination (R2 ≥ 0.70) were considered the best descriptors. The reliability level was 95%. Tick counts differed (P<0.0001) between T01 and T02 (high infestation control vs. treated), except at day 2 (P >0.05) post-treatment, and efficacy ranged from 85.2 to 50.6%. The number of collected engorged females was lower (P<0.0001) for T04 than for T03 (low infestation treated vs. control) animals from day 3 to 29, and efficacy ranged from 95.2 to 69.8%. In addition, tick burden and efficacy were negatively correlated for both the group of animals with a high tick burden (r = -0.5256; p = 0.0012; R² = 0.2762) and the group of animals with a low tick burden (r = -0.9817; p < 0.0001; R² = 0.9638). In conclusion, a high tick burden on bovines decreases the efficacy of the tested spray acaricide.
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