How does Tick-Borne Parasite Ecology Influence Disease Transmission between Ticks and Bovine Hosts?

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: School of Life Sciences


Ticks and tickborne diseases (TBDs) represent a serious issue to farmers and the welfare of livestock worldwide. They are a particular concern in sub-Saharan Africa where multiple tick-borne parasites co-occur. The most significant TBDs include those caused by blood-borne parasites Cowdria, Anaplasma, Theileria, and Babesia, spp.. These cause TBDs of redwater, bovine anaplasmosis, East Coast fever, and heartwater, respectively, and are significant based on their wide geographic distribution and economic impact. Recently developed diagnostic methods have allowed detailed characterisation of the parasites that occur in a range of tick and host species, including both wildlife and livestock. In this work, we will apply these methods in an epidemiological context to understand the mechanisms structuring parasite communities within host and their consequences for disease transmission. Specifically, we will work with collaborators in Kruger National Park and University of Pretoria, South Africa, to investigate the role of tick ecology in structuring parasite communities in African buffalo and cattle.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
2265114 Studentship BB/M01116X/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2023 Sophie Hawkes