Effects of fluazuron on the biological parameters of engorged females of Rhipicephalus microplus
The objective of this study was to evaluate the biological parameters of Rhipicephalus microplus engorged females exposed to the arthropod growth regulator fluazuron. A commercial formulation based on fluazuron (Acatak®, Novartis) was administered topically to stabled cattle artificially infested with R. microplus larvae. The infestations occurred on four alternate days (days -21, -17, -13 and -6) taking as day 0 (zero) the day of treatment with a single dose of fluazuron for the treated group. Fifteen engorged females from each group were collected from the floor of the stalls at the end of the engorgement period (21 days) on pre-established days: before (day 0) and after treatment (days 4, 8 and 15), respectively. After cleaning and preparation of the engorged females in the laboratory, the following biological parameters were analyzed: weight of the engorged female, weight of the female after laying (spent female), laying period, weight of the posture, egg production index, reproductive efficiency index, hatching percentage, and nutritional index. The average weight of engorged females showed a significant reduction on all days after treatment in the exposed group. Aside from the weight after laying, all other biological parameters showed a significant reduction on the eighth post-treatment day due to exposure to fluazuron. Knowledge of the effects of an active principle on biological parameters in a population of ticks is essential for appropriate implementation of integrated management practices for parasite control.