Invasive blue tick now in Namibia

The invasive pantropical blue tick, a parasite linked to cattle fever or babesiosis, was recently detected in Namibia.

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This was according to research by PhD student Nkululeko Nyangiwe of the Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology (DCEE) at Stellenbosch University (SU). This is the first time that the blue tick has been found in Namibia.  The tick was found earlier this year on several breeds of cattle on four of the 18 privately owned farms sampled across the central region of Namibia.

According to Nyangiwe, it had probably spread via livestock imported from SA. The tick is a parasite of cattle, but also occurs on sheep, goats and some wild animals. Nyangiwe’s supervisor, Dr Sonja Matthee of the SU DCEE, Prof Conrad Matthee of the SU Department of Botany and Zoology, and Prof Ivan Horak of the University of Pretoria participated in the study.