The effect of tick control on the infection rates of Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina are reported for 6 geographical regions in South Africa. Under conditions of poor tick control the situation for B. bovis as one of apparent enzootic instability in the 2 regions where its presence was recorded. Under similar conditions the situation for B. bigemina was generally stable.
With good tick control B. bovis infection rates were reduced to very low levels, with minimal losses being recorded. In the case of B. bigemina, good tick control reduced the infection rates in cattle but increased the risk of outbreaks.
We concluded that, unless regular dipping is necessary to limit damage done by ticks per se, control of ticks is not justified economically as a means of minimizing the risks of babesiosis outbreaks in South Africa.
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