Diversity of tick species on domestic animals in Shandong Province, China, using DNA barcoding
Ticks and tick-borne diseases (TTBD) pose a major constraint for the development and improvement of the livestock industry. They cause economical losses by decreasing milk production, effecting weight loss, and increasing risk for bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. It has been reported that 80% of 1,200 million cattle are at risk for TTBDs causing a global annual loss of US$7,000 million. Ticks are currently considered to be second only to mosquitoes as vectors of human infectious diseases in the world. There are more than 850 species recognized with approximately 180 in the family Argasidae (soft ticks) and the others in the family Ixodidae (hard ticks). In Asia, the economical losses due to TTBDs is great; however, the knowledge on Asian ticks is scarce and needs intensive studies regarding their geographical distribution, ecology, and diseases transmission. To close this gap, the Asian component of the Integrated Consortium on Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases (ICTTD-3) organized a meeting held from 26th–28th April 2006 in Pendik, Istanbul, Turkey on the characterization of Asian ticks. Besides the knowledge dissemination, this meeting resulted in a number of achievements such as the establishment of working groups for epidemiological studies and distribution of tick differentiation protocols and diagnostic tools.