Do rainfall and tick burden affect the efficacy of pour-on formulations against Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus?
AbstractRhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus is the most important livestock tick, causing economical losses especially in tropical and subtropical regions. Pour-on formulations using synthetic chemicals, remain the most farmer friendly conventional form of tick control method. Misuse of acaricides can lead to the emergence of resistance, residual chemicals in animal products, the poisoning of vertebrates and environment contamination. Despite the increase in the use of pour-on formulations, little is known regarding the therapeutic and residual efficacy of these products after the treated animals are exposed to rainfall. Moreover, information is scanty on whether efficacy is modulated by different levels of tick burden. Three studies were conducted. In the two first experiments, we evaluated the therapeutic and residual efficacies of commercial pour-on products (fluazuron 2.5 mg/kg and fipronil 1.0 mg/kg, respectively) on cattle naturally infested with R. (B.) microplus under the condition of simulated rainfall. In the third study, we investigated whether tick burden affects the efficacy of the drugs used a chemical control method involving three different formulations (Day 0: cypermethrin 5.0 mg/kg + chlorpyrifos 7.0 mg/kg + citronellal 0.5 mg/kg; Day 7: fluazuron 3.0 mg/kg + abamectin 0.5 mg/kg and Day 56: fipronil 1.0 mg/kg + fluazuron 3.0 mg/kg). Tick counts were performed on different days to assess efficacy. It was observed that the residual efficacy of the commercial formulations was lower on animals that received simulated rain. In addition, therapeutic and residual efficacies of the products were reduced in the group of animals with a high tick burden of R. (B.) microplus. In conclusion, rainfall decreases the efficacy of acaricides. Also, the tick burden must be considered when selecting a pour-on formulation.