Influence of weather patterns and air quality on ecological population dynamics of ectoparasites in goats

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2020
Authors:Y. Ajith, Dimri, U., Madhesh, E., Gopalakrishnan, A., Verma, M. Ram, Samad, H. A., Reena, K. K., Chaudhary, A. Kumar, Devi, G., Bosco, J.
Journal:International Journal of Biometeorology
Date Published:Jun-2020
ISSN:0020-7128, 1432-1254
Keywords:animals, Climate change, ecology, Ectoparasitism, epidemiology, Pollution, Season-wise

Ectoparasitism has a damaging impact on the economy of goat production in India, but the factors influencing its distribution and dynamics are less explored. The present study was designed to investigate the influence of environmental factors like weather and air quality parameters on the occurrence of different types of ectoparasites in goats of two agro-climatic regions of India, viz. the Upper Gangetic Plain (UGP) and the Western Himalayas (WH). The prevalence survey for ectoparasitism among goats was conducted during the four distinct climatic seasons (winter, summer, monsoon, autumn) in both regions. The season-wise data of weather parameters (maximum and minimum temperature, relative humidity in morning and evening, sunrise and sunset time, mean daily temperature and relative humidity, daily variation in temperature and relative humidity, and day length) and air quality parameters (air quality index (AQI), particulate matter 2.5 μm (PM2.5), particulate matter 10 μm (PM10)) of both regions were analyzed in relation with the ectoparasitic prevalence pattern of corresponding regions. The results depict a noticeable correlation between the studied parameters and seasonal variation in the occurrence of each type of ectoparasites. This outcome on the interaction of studied parameters and ectoparasitism is intriguing and it opens a huge scope for future studies on the biometeorological aspects of host-parasite ecological interplay and evolutionary biology. The better understanding of climatological aspects of ectoparasite occurrences helps goat farmers in formulating appropriate timely intervention strategies for the economic control of ectoparasites, which in turn tackles ectoparasiticidal drug resistance and reduces threat of vector-borne diseases.

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