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Dipping and jetting with tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil formulations control lice (Bovicola ovis) on sheep

James, P. J. and Callander, J. T. (2012) Dipping and jetting with tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil formulations control lice (Bovicola ovis) on sheep. Veterinary Parasitology, 189 (2-4). pp. 338-343. ISSN 0304-4017

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2012.04.025

Abstract

The in vivo pediculicidal effectiveness of 1% and 2% formulations of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil (TTO) against sheep chewing lice (Bovicola ovis) was tested in two pen studies. Immersion dipping of sheep shorn two weeks before treatment in both 1% and 2% formulations reduced lice to non detectable levels. No lice were found on any of the treated sheep despite careful inspection of at least 40 fleece partings per animal at 2, 6, 12 and 20 weeks after treatment. In the untreated sheep louse numbers increased from a mean (+/- SE) of 2.4 (+/- 0.7) per 10 cm fleece part at 2 weeks to 12.3 (+/- 4.2) per part at 20 weeks. Treatment of sheep with 6 months wool by jetting (high pressure spraying into the fleece) reduced louse numbers by 94% in comparison to controls at two weeks after treatment with both 1% and 2% TTO formulations. At 6 and 12 weeks after treatment reductions were 94% and 91% respectively with the 1% formulation and 78% and 84% respectively with the 2% formulation. TTO treatment also appeared to reduce wool damage in infested sheep. Laboratory studies indicated that tea tree oil 'stripped' from solution with a progressive reduction in concentration as well as volume as more wool was dipped, indicating that reinforcement of active ingredient would be required to maintain effectiveness when large numbers of sheep are treated. The results of these studies suggest significant potential for the development of ovine lousicides incorporating TTO. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Additional Information:James, P. J. Callander, J. T. P. Guinane Pty Ltd.; Australian Government through the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Tea Tree Oil program We thank Dr Stephen Were for help with the GCMS analyses and Dr. Tony Swain for statistical advice. Wayne Ehrlich, Geoff Brown and Gary Everingham assisted with the sheep studies and laboratory assays. We also thank Pat and Paul Bolster for provision of tea tree oil and for their interest in and discussions of the project. Funding for this study was provided by P. Guinane Pty Ltd. and the Australian Government through the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Tea Tree Oil program. Elsevier science bv Amsterdam
Keywords:Tea tree oil Phthiraptera Ovis aries Terpinen-4-ol Dipping Jetting insecticides populations resistance schrank
Subjects:Veterinary medicine > Veterinary parasitology
Animal culture > Sheep
Deposited On:25 Nov 2013 03:55
Last Modified:25 Nov 2013 03:55

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