Sections of salivary glands from adult R. appendiculatus ticks and sections of the whole bodies of nymphal R. appendiculatus ticks were studied to obtain data on the incidence and development of T. parva during feeding. Since, in their previous instars, all the ticks had dropped engorged from a parasitaemic calf on the same day, it was possible to compare the resultant infection rates in nymphs and adults.
In the adult ticks, the highest percentage infection (45%) and the greatest number of infected acini (45 from 20 ticks) were observed after 3 days feeding. Mature parasites were first seen after 4 days. In the nymphs, the highest percentage infection (35%) was observed after 3 days feeding. Equal numbers of infected acini (14 from 20 ticks) were observed in unfed nymphs and in those which had fed for 2 or 3 days. Mature parasites were first seen after 2 days, and all were mature after 3 days.
It was concluded that a batch of nymphs would contain more parasites per gramme than a corresponding batch of adult ticks. This fact, together with the observed uniformity of maturation of the parasites in nymphs, may make nymphs a more suitable choice than adults for the preparation of ground tick stabilates.
We are most grateful to Mr M. P. Cunningham, who inoculated the calf on which the ticks fed, and to Mr A. Musoke who observed the subsequent clinical reaction of the calf.
This work was carried out as part of the programme of the Immunological Research on Tick-borne Cattle Diseases and Tick Control Project which is supported by the United Nations Development Programme/Special Fund, with F.A.O. as the Executing Agency, in collaboration with the East African Community. The assistance of our colleagues on the Project is gratefully acknowledged. This paper is published by kind permission of Mr A. Rashid, the Director of the East African Veterinary Research Organization.