The effect of tick infestations on body weight and various blood parameters was monitored in juvenile northern brown bandicoots (Isoodon macrourus) after release into tick-infested or tick-free enclosures. Three species of ticks were observed in the enclosures, Haemaphysalis humerosa, Ixodes tasmani and Ixodes holocyclus. Bandicoots released into tick-infested enclosures showed a reduced growth rate (1.8 versus 2.5 g/day increase in body weight), a reduced haematocrit value (27.4 versus 40.0%) and an increased number of white blood cells when compared with bandicoots released into tick-free enclosures. These results suggest that tick infestations may influence the health of juvenile I. macrourus.
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Vol. 27 • No. 2