Morphological and molecular identification of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus in Nigeria, West Africa: a threat to livestock health

J. Kamani*, D. A. Apanaskevich, R. Gutiérrez, Y. Nachum-Biala, G. Baneth, S. Harrus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus was first reported in West Africa in Ivory Coast, in 2007. Since then it has made an aggressive eastward advancement having been reported in four other West African countries: Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin. We herein report the first molecular identification of this tick species in Nigeria, West Africa, and highlight the threat it poses to livestock health. A nation-wide tick survey was conducted in 12 out of 36 states across the various agro ecological zones of Nigeria over a 1 year period (April 2014–March 2015). In total 1498 ticks belonging to three genera collected from cattle were morphologically identified. Overall, Amblyomma species constituted the highest percentage of sampled ticks, 50.2% (752/1498), followed by Rhipicephalus (including the subgenus Boophilus) species, 29.4% (440/1498) and Hyalomma species, 20.4% (306/1498). The presence of Rh. (B.) microplus was identified morphologically from four out of the 12 states. This finding was confirmed for the first time in Nigeria using a molecular method targeting the ITS-2 region of the ticks in three of the 12 states. This study ascertained the presence of Rh. (B.) microplus in Nigeria in addition to a broad variety of cattle tick species, most of which are of veterinary importance. The implication of this finding is that there may be additional economic burden to livestock farmers due to increased cost of tick control occasioned by the acaricide resistance by this tick species widely reported from different climes. Additionally, there may be a potential upsurge in incidence of hemoparasitic infections in cattle leading to increased morbidity, cost of treatment and mortalities.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)283-296
Number of pages14
JournalExperimental and Applied Acarology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer International Publishing AG.


  • Cattle
  • Nigeria
  • PCR
  • Rh. (B.) microplus
  • Sequencing
  • West Africa


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