Physiological and Nutritional Responses of Steers Infested with Varying Densities of Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae)

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The effects of varying densities of lone star tick, Amblyomma americanurn (L.), on measured physiological parameters of beef cattle in a controlled environment was determined. Steers were infested with either 0, 20, 60, or 120 pairs of adult ticks. Heart rate, respiration, rectal temperature, fecal and urine excretions, and water and feed consumption were monitored daily. Blood samples were taken every 3rd d to measure cortisol, total proteins, urea nitrogen, and glucose levels. Hematocrits were also taken at each blood sampling. Results showed that A. americanum evoked elevated heart rates. The other measured physiological and nutritional responses of parasitized steers were similar to the control steers. These results suggest that tick densities were too low to cause physiological stress under the conditions used in this study. The methodology precluded detection of the parameters measured, A. americanum does not affect the parameters measured, or that fluctuating environmental parameters and varying host nutritional states may play major roles in modulating the effect of A. americanum infestations on cattle in nature.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 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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