Ectoparasites on pigs and farmers’ practices in relation to the infestations and diseases in Mbeya Region, Tanzania

Start date: 30 April, 2011 End date: 30 September, 2011 Project type: Master's Thesis (prior to 2018) Project code: A13345 Countries: Tanzania Institutions: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Grant recipient: Uffe Christian Braae Total grant: 10,000 DKK


This study was carried out from May to August 2011 in the Mbeya Region, Tanzania with a cross-sectional design in order to describe the management practises and the ectoparasitic distribution and diversity within confinement and free range production systems of smallholder households. In addition, to identify risk factors for the presence of ectoparasites within the two production systems. Furthermore, test filter cards as a diagnostic tool for African swine fever and investigate whether Ornithodoros ticks has a role in the transmission of African swine fever in the area. A total of 96 households practising confinement and 32 households practising free range were surveyed. The prevalence of ectoparasites in confinement and free range production systems were 24% [15-33] and 84% [71-91], respectively. Logistic regression models were designed to explore risk factors for the presence of ectoparasites. Keeping pigs in a free range system (p<0.001, OR=17.9 [4.0-76.1]) and the presence of neighbouring pigs (p=0.018, OR=4.33 [1.29-14.57]) were identified as risk factors for ectoparasites within both systems. Within the confinement system, contact with neighbouring pigs (p=0.031, OR=4.15 [1.14-15.1]) and the time interval since last treatment (p=0.030, OR=1.17 [1.02-1.35]) was identified as a risk factors. The prevalence of lice was 20% [12-28] in confined pigs and 63% [45-78] in free range pigs. Free ranging of pigs (p=0.003, OR=7.7 [2.0-30.0]) and presence of neighbouring pigs (p=0.002, OR=8.1 [2.2-30.6]) were identified as risk factors for the presence of lice. The prevalence of fleas was 5% and 13% within confined and free range, respectively. Three (3) species of fleas were identified as Tunga penetrans, Echidnophaga gallinacea and Ctenocephalides canis. Low prevalence of Sarcoptes scabiei var. suis was found using ear scrapings. The prevalence of hard ticks among the free range pigs was 50% and belonged to four genera; Amblyomma spp., Rhipicephalus spp., Haemaphysalis spp. and Boophilus spp. No Ornithodoros ticks were found and could therefore not be confirmed in the transmission of African swine fever in Mbeya Rural District.  Among the free range pigs four were found positive for African swine fever virus. This was the first time African swine fever had been shown in the field using filter cards. Also, this was the first study conducted in Tanzania to assess the prevalence of