Physiological Responses of Beef Cattle to Gulf Coast Tick (Acari: Ixodidae) Infestations

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Nine yearling crossbred beef steers, Bos taurus L., were used to examine physiological responses to Gulf Coast tick, Amblyomma macuiatum Koch, infestation. Steers were sanctioned indoors in individual environmentally controlled rooms. On day 0, each animal received 0, 25, or 75 pairs of ticks. Physiological variables measured daily were feed intake, heart rates, rectal temperatures, and respiration rates. Blood samples were collected from ('each animal on days 7, 21, and 42 for serum constituent analysis. To monitor metabolic hormone status, intensive blood samples were collected hourly for 6 h on days 21 and 42. Throughout the treatment period, feed intake values were similar among treatments resulting in comparable body weight at the end of the trial. Heart rates and rectal temperatures were unaffected, however, respiration rates of steers infested with 25 pairs of ticks were higher than the other treatment groups. Treatment effects were detected in uric acid concentrations on day 7 in steers infested with 75 pairs of ticks. Treatment effects were detected in total, direct and indirect bilirubin, gamma-glut amyl Tranpeptidase, and aspirate amino transferase concentrations. Likewise, creatine kinase concentrations were higher in the tick-infested steers on day 7. Elevated white blood cell counts were observed in tick-infested steers. All other serum components were similar and were within their normal ranges. Serum insulin, prolactin, growth hormone, and cortical concentrations were unaffected by tick infestations. Gulf coast tick infestation resulted in altered blood composition indicative of infection caused by tick feeding habits.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1995

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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