Prevalence, distribution, and molecular record of four hard ticks from livestock in the United Arab Emirates

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Ticks are important arthropod vectors that serve as reservoirs of pathogens. Rapid urban-ization and changes in animal breeding practices could be causing a rise in tick burden on animals. Studies on tick distribution on livestock and tick molecular diversity from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are limited. The aim of this study was to (i) provide molecular and morphological identification of tick species, (ii) compare tick infestation between different hosts, (iii) compare tick infestation in re-lation to the sex of the host, and (iv) assess the prevalence of tick species on hosts. A total of 5950 ticks were collected from camels (4803 ticks), cows (651 ticks), goats (219 ticks), and sheep (277 ticks). Ticks were identified based on morphological characters at the species level using taxonomic keys. In addition, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) amplification of the cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) and 16S rRNA mitochondrial genes was used to identify ticks. Four species were confirmed based on molecular and morphological characterization, namely, Hyalomma dromedarii, Hyalomma anatolicum, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, and Amblyomma lepidum. Hyalomma dromedarii (94.3%) was the most abundant species, followed by H. anatolicum (32.8%). Camels were heavily infested (94%) with ticks as compared to cows (38%), sheep (37%), and goats (14%). Widespread occurrence of these four tick species in the UAE poses a risk of spreading tick-borne pathogens wherever the conditions of infection prevail.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1016
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • 16S rRNA
  • Amblyomma lepidum
  • Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1
  • Hyalomma anatolicum
  • Hyalomma dromedarii
  • Livestock
  • Prevalence
  • Rhipicephalus sanguineus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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