Comparative Study of Haemocyte Populations in Babesia sp. Infected and Uninfected Boophilus decoloratus (Koch) Ticks

ABSTRACT: Haemolymph smears were made on glass slides from 5-day fed female Boophilus decoloratus, the vector for bovine and ovine Babesiosis and Anaplasmosis in Nigeria. Comparative morphometry and differential haemocyte counts were made from the
stained haemolymph smears of both infected and clean ticks. Three major and two minor cell types were identified from the stained smears of infected ticks. The major cells included prohaemocytes, plasmatocytes and spherule cells, while the minor ones included mitotic and binucleated cells. Plasmatocyte and spherule cells were further sub-divided into early and advanced forms, based on their morphometry. There was significant difference (P< 0.05) in the number of prohaemocytes counted in Babesia infected and uninfected ticks with a mean of 16.8% and 10.4% respectively. The differences in the number of early and advanced plasmatocyte and spherule cells in both tick types were not significant (P> 0.05), while differences in the number of mitotic and binucleated cells between the two tick types were very significant (P< 0.01). About 0.6% and 1.8% of cells in Babesia infected and uninfected ticks respectively were mitotic. Binucleated cells in infected and uninfected ticks were 0.8% and 0.2% respectively.

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