The efficacy of ivermectin, administered in a sustained release formulation by intraruminal pumps at approximate daily dose rates of 20, 40 and 60 µg/kg, was evaluated in 16 cattle against induced infestations of 3 strains of adult Amblyomma hebraeum. Engorged female ticks were mass-measured and incubated, and reproductive data recorded. There was an increase in mortality of male and female ticks compared to that of controls with increasing daily dose of ivermectin, and a decrease in the number of ticks engorging. Ticks fed on ivermectin-treated cattle had a smaller mass when engorged and laid smaller egg masses, both absolutely and as a proportion of engorged mass. Index of reproduction was reduced 100 % at 60 µg/kg /day, > 99 % at 40 µg/kg/day and 96 % at 20 µg/kg/day. Differences occurred between the 3 strains of A. hebraeum used in the study, especially with regard to engorged mass and reproductive variables. Practical implications of the application of sustained release ivermectin for the control of A. hebraeum, specifically with reference to heartwater (Cowdria ruminantium), are discussed.
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