The Sardinian coloured donkey Equus asinus (Perissodactyla: Equidae) and its albino colour morph represent the wildlife species most typical of the island of Asinara. This Mediterranean island represents a favourable context for ticks and tick-borne diseases; however, knowledge of the tick fauna on Asinara is scarce. A total of 106 Sardinian donkeys were inspected for tick infestation from June to November 2015. All ticks found were collected, classified by stage and sex, and identified to species level. The level of infestation of each donkey was determined; both the overall tick infestation and infestations of each detected species were classified on a scale of 1–3 to give an infestation score (IS). Overall, 256 hard ticks were collected from 60 of 106 donkeys (56.6%). Rhipicephalus bursa, Haemaphysalis punctata and Hyalomma marginatum (all: Ixodida: Ixodidae) infested 26.4%, 28.3% and 6.6% of donkeys, respectively. Different variables affected the IS. With reference to overall tick infestation, a higher IS was observed in donkeys grazing on grassland and Mediterranean shrubland and in albino donkeys compared with coloured donkeys. The collected ticks included species involved in the transmission of pathogens to humans, which highlights the risks for public health in a tourist destination such as Asinara National Park.
Ixodid ticks on wild donkeys in a Mediterranean nature reserve (Asinara National Park): diversity and risk factors / Zanzani, S. A.; Pintore, E.; Olivieri, E.; Columbano, N.; Scanu, A.; Melosu, V.; Sanna Passino, E.; Careddu, G.; Gazzonis, A. L.; Manfredi, M. T.; Garippa, G.. - In: MEDICAL AND VETERINARY ENTOMOLOGY. - ISSN 0269-283X. - (2019). [10.1111/mve.12355]