Biology, Treatment, and Control of Flea and Tick Infestations

Department of Pathobiology, 166 Greene Hall, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn AL 36849-5519, USA.
Veterinary Clinics of North America Small Animal Practice (Impact Factor: 0.82). 11/2009; 39(6):1173-200, viii. DOI: 10.1016/j.cvsm.2009.07.001
Source: PubMed


Flea and tick infestations are common and elimination can be expensive and time consuming. Many advances in control of fleas can be directly linked to improved knowledge of the intricacies of flea host associations, reproduction, and survival in the premises. Understanding tick biology and ecology is far more difficult than with fleas, because North America can have up to 9 different tick species infesting cats and dogs compared to 1 primary flea species. Effective tick control is more difficult to achieve than effective flea control, because of the abundance of potential alternative hosts in the tick life cycle. Many effective host-targeted tick control agents exist, several of which also possess activity against adult or immature fleas and other parasites.

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    • "In human and veterinary health field, tick control is performed mainly by the use of chemical compounds with acaricide action (Flamini, 2003;Jonjejan and Uilenberg, 2004), usually formulated based on synthetic products (Alves et al., 2012). However, such substances are toxic, causing environmental pollution and presenting high cost (Jonjejan and Uilenberg, 2004), besides promoting the selection of resistant strains of ticks (Blagburn and Dryden, 2009;Rosado-Aguilar et al., 2010).Substances obtained from plant extracts, however, have low cost, few residual effects and generate low incidence of resistance development (Rosado-Aguilar et al., 2010). In this sense, the use of leaves, fruits and seeds extracted from the neem tree (Azadirachta indica) has been intensified, due to the presence of biologically active ingredients with various modes of action (Vietmeyer, 1992;Atawodi and Atawodi, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Neem (Azadirachta indica) has attracted the attention of researchers worldwide due to its repellent properties and recognized effects on the morphology and physiology of arthropods, including ticks. Therefore, this study aimed to demonstrate the effects of neem seed oil enriched with azadirachtin on salivary glands of Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks, targets of great veterinary interest because of their ability to transmit pathogens to dogs. For this, R. sanguineus semi-engorged females were subjected to treatment with neem seed oil, with known azadirachtin concentrations (200, 400 and 600 ppm). After dissection, salivary glands were collected and evaluated through morphological techniques in light microscopy, confocal scanning laser microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, so that the possible relation between neem action and further impairment in these ectoparasites feed performance could be established. Neem oil demonstrated a clear dose-dependent effect in the analyzed samples. The agranular (type I) and granular acini (types II and III) showed, particularly in individuals treated with the highest concentrations of the product, cells with irregular shape, intense cytoplasmic disorganization and vacuolation, dilation of rough endoplasmic reticulum lumen, besides alterations in mitochondrial intermembrane space. These morphological damages may indicate modifications in salivary glands physiology, demonstrating the harmful effects of compounds present in neem oil on ticks. These results reinforce the potential of neem as an alternative method for controlling R. sanguineus ticks, instead of synthetic acaricides.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Micron
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    • "For this reason, it is a growing need to produce chemicals that act against infestations, especially synthetics, among which stand out neonicotinoids , phenylpyrazoles, macrocyclic lactones, pyrethroids , and formamidines (Blagburn and Dryden, 2009). However, indiscriminate use of acaricide commercial formulations has become an increasing problem, leading to selection of resistant tick strains, besides resulting in toxic effects to human beings, hosts and environment (Blagburn and Dryden, 2009; Rosado- Aguilar et al., 2010). For this reason, more emphasis has been given to the use of biopesticides in order to reduce collateral damage provoked by chemically synthesized pesticides (Brahmachari, 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Currently, the necessity of controlling infestation by ticks, especially by Rhipicephalus sanguineus, has led researchers and public health managers around the world to search for new and more efficient control methods. This way, we can highlight neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) leaf, bark, and seed extracts, which have been very effective on tick control, and moreover causing less damage to the environment and to the host. This study showed the potential of neem as a control method for R. sanguineus through morphological and morphometric evaluation of the integument and synganglion of females, in semiengorged stage. To attain this, routine techniques of optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and morphometry of the cuticle and subcuticle of the integument were applied. Expressive morphological alterations were observed in both organs, presenting a dose-dependent effect. Integument epithelial cells and nerve cells of the synganglion showed signs of cell vacuolation, dilated intercellular boundaries, and cellular disorganization, alterations not previously reported in studies with neem. In addition, variations in subcuticle thickness were also observed. In general, the effects of neem are multiple, and affect the morphology and physiology of target animals in various ways. The results presented in this work are the first evidence of its effects in the coating and nervous system of ticks, thus allowing an indication of neem aqueous extracts as a potential control method of the brown dog tick and opening new perspectives on acaricide use. Microsc. Res. Tech., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Microscopy Research and Technique
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    • "Tick control may be accomplished by a great variety of synthetic acaricides, which eliminate infestations and prevent re-infestations for a certain period of time (Blagburn and Dryden 2009). However, the indiscriminate use of commercial acaricides is an emerging problem, leading to the selection of resistant strains of ticks, toxicity to humans and hosts, and damages to the environment (Blagburn and Dryden 2009; Rosado-Aguilar et al. 2010). The adverse effects of synthetic pesticides and the necessity for environmentally safe alternatives for pest control has led to the search for products extracted from plants, among which stand out the extracts from Annona squamosa (Magadum et al. 2009), Aegle marmelos, Andrographis lineata, Andrographis paniculata, Cocculus hirsutus, Eclipta prostrata (Elango and Rahuman 2011), Cuminum cyminum, Pimenta dioica (Martinez-Velazquez et al. 2011), Acorus calamus (Ghosh et al. 2011), and many others, including Azadirachta indica, the neem tree, which stands as one of the options with higher potential (Raizada et al. 2001; Brahmachari 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: The concern about the harmful effects caused by synthetic pesticides has led to the search for safe and ecological alternatives for pest control. In this context, the neem tree (Azadirachta indica) stands out due to its repellent properties and effects on various arthropods, including ticks. For this reason, this study aimed to demonstrate the potential of neem as a control method for Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks, important vectors of diseases in the veterinary point of view. For this, R. sanguineus semi-engorged females were subjected to treatment with neem seed oil enriched with azadirachtin, its main compound, and ovaries were assessed by means of morphological techniques in conventional light microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Neem demonstrated a clear dose-dependent effect in the analyzed samples. The observed oocytes presented, especially in the groups treated with higher concentrations of neem oil, obvious signs of cytoplasmic disorganization, cellular vacuolization, nuclear and nucleolar irregularity, dilation in mitochondrial cristae, alterations in mitochondrial matrix, and swelling of rough endoplasmic reticulum. Intracellular microorganisms were observed in all analyzed groups, reinforcing the importance of ticks in the transmission of pathogens. A greater quantity of microorganisms was noted as the concentration of neem increased, indicating that the damaged oocytes may be more susceptible for their development. Such morphological alterations may promote future damages in reproductive performance of these animals and demonstrate the potential of neem seed oil for the control of R. sanguineus ticks, paving the way for new, cheaper, and safer methods of control.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Parasitology Research
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