Tick (Acari: Ixodidae) infestation of cuscuses from Maluku Province, Indonesia.

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Date: June 2021
From: Veterinary World(Vol. 14, Issue 6)
Publisher: Veterinary World
Document Type: Article
Length: 3,946 words
Lexile Measure: 1330L

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Abstract :

Background and Aim: Cuscuses are one of the endemic Indonesian marsupials, which needs to be protected and revived in terms of the numbers and range of species. Ectoparasites of ticks (Ixodidae) are one potential obstacle to cuscus conservation. Tick infestation can cause blood loss in the host, even being a predisposing factor for infection with pathogenic organisms. This study aimed to determine the prevalence, infestation intensity, and species of ticks present on cuscuses in Maluku Province, Indonesia. Materials and Methods: Ticks were collected from cuscuses origin of the four regions in Maluku Province, namely the island of Ambon, Seram Island, Romang Island, and Wetar Island. Cuscuses were captured at night, with ticks being collected from them from the head to the tip of the tail. The tick samples obtained from the cuscuses were preserved, identified, and counted. Cuscuses were released back into their habitat after collecting the ticks. The obtained ticks were observed using an Olympus BX51 microscope with an Olympus DP12 digital camera and prepared for examination under a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Infestation rate, infestation intensity, and morphology of the species were described. Results: The cuscuses were found to be infested with Ixodes cordifer ticks. Cuscuses in Maluku Province had a low tick infestation rate. The range of infestation prevalence of island origin cuscuses in Maluku was between 14.28% and 16.67%. Simultaneously, I. cordifer infestation level was mildly infested based on the intensity of thick infestation ranged from 1 to 1.2 ticks per cuscus. From observation of the tick surface structure under SEM, sexual dimorphism and various specific characteristics of the ticks were identified. Conclusion: The low infestation rate of I. cordifer ticks in cuscus was influenced by the up and down movement of the conscious activity in the tree, which allowed minimal contact with the ticks. The infestation prevalence rates on each island studied were similar. Such similarities of infestation are related to the similarity of cuscus species among Ambon, Lakor, Seram, and Romang islands, which are all included in the Phalangeridae family, and their similar habitats, behaviors, climatic conditions, and geographical areas. Keywords: Cuscus, Ixodes, scanning electron microscope.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A667112549