Questing ticks from various districts and agro-ecological zones (AEZ) in the Tanga Region of Tanzania were studied for a two-year period between September 1999 and July 2001. Collections of both nymphal and adult ticks occurred at 29 sites using a blanket or white cloth dragging technique. The species recorded in the order of decreasing abundance were Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, Boophilus spp., and Ambylomma variegatum. Rhipicephalus appendiculatus field infestation levels varied across administrative districts and seasons, with Amani and the cool-to-dry season having lower tick counts ( = −2.09, SE = 0.71, P < 0.001 and = −1.54, SE = 0.56, P = 0.006 for Amani and cool to dry season, respectively). Based on the polymerase chain reaction technique, Theileria parva infection prevalence in adult R. appendiculatus was estimated to be 2.6%. Implications of these findings in light of the spatial and temporal distribution of ticks are discussed for the accurate diagnosis of multiple tick-borne diseases, the infected vector tick, the endemic status of T. parva in the region, and the implemention of control strategies.
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