Evaluating the efficacy of Mazao Tickoff (Metarhizium anisopliae ICIPE 7) in controlling natural tick infestations on cattle in coastal Kenya: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Joseph Wang’ang’a Oundo*, Daniel Masiga, Michael Nyang’anga Okal, Gebbiena M. Bron, Komivi S. Akutse, Sevgan Subramanian, Quirine ten Bosch, Constantianus J.M. Koenraadt, Shewit Kalayou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Ticks and tick-borne diseases cause substantial economic losses to the livestock industry in sub-Saharan Africa. Mazao Tickoff is a novel bioacaricide developed for tick control and is based on the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae sensu lato (s.l.) isolate ICIPE 7. To date, no randomized controlled study has been undertaken to demonstrate the efficacy of this bioacaricide in reducing natural tick infestation on cattle. To this end, this field trial is designed to evaluate the anti-tick efficacy of Mazao Tickoff on cattle in coastal Kenya compared to a standard chemical tick control protocol. In this prospective, multi-center randomized controlled trial, eligible herds will be randomized by the herd size to the intervention arm in a 1:1:1 ratio to either Triatix® (active ingredient: amitraz); Mazao Tickoff (active ingredient: M. anisopliae ICIPE 7); or placebo (excipients of the Mazao Tickoff), with a total enrollment target of 1,077 cattle. Treatments will be dispensed on Day 0 (defined individually as the day each animal receives the first treatment) and thereafter every two weeks until Day 182. Ticks will be counted on every animal in each herd (herds to be included have at least one animal bearing at least one tick on Day 0), and thereafter on bi-weekly intervals until Day 182. The primary efficacy assessments of Mazao Tickoff will be based on the mean percentage reduction in tick counts at each post-treatment follow-up visit compared to the placebo group and the Triatix® arm. Further, the effect of Mazao Tickoff on the prevalence of common cattle pathogens, Anaplasma marginale and Theileria parva, will be determined by assessing incidence and seroprevalence at four different time points. This protocol describes the first rigorous evaluation of the efficacy of Mazao Tickoff and its potential as a viable alternative non-chemical acaricide tool for tick control in Kenya and elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0272865
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume17
Issue number8 August
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

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