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Pure European bovine breeding is compromised in South Pacific (i.e. Australia, New Caledonia) due to the impact of acaricide-resistant Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) australis ticks. Farmers need new solutions to sustainably maintain their activity. An integrated tick control program has been applied for 2 years in herds of European breeds (i.e. Charolais and Limousine cattle breeds) in New Caledonia. A field trial including the use of a vaccine based on a local Bm86 antigen, agropastoral measures and a chemical control of the tick was conducted to assess the possibility to reduce the number of acaricidal treatments. Nine farms including 1400 animals were monitored from July 2017 to June 2020. The year mid2017-mid2018 was the year of initial monitoring in order to get control data related to tick infestation during the seasons and to the number of treatments per herd. Vaccinations began between September and December 2018. Results obtained from mid2019 to mid2020 were then compared to the initial period (mid2017-mid2018) to assess the benefits of the vaccine. The average annual number of acaricide treatments decreased significantly from 7.44 before vaccination to 4.45 during mid2019-mid2020 (p = 0.026). Infestation scores, assessed by tick counts when farmers grouped the cattle to apply acaricides, showed a constant and low infestation level. Nevertheless, farmers were willing to tolerate slightly higher tick loads on vaccinated cattle with less acaricidal treatments compared to unvaccinated and frequently treated cattle. Local cutaneous reactions were recorded at the injection site with 46.6% of all injections evolving into nodules and 1% of injections giving depilation or abscesses. At the end of the trial, all the breeders wish to continue the vaccination and consider that it is now possible to serenely maintain their breed. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Héloïse Duval, Thomas Hüe. Field efficacy assessment of a vaccine against Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) australis in New-Caledonia. Veterinary parasitology, regional studies and reports. 2022 Apr;29:100702

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PMID: 35256127

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