Objective: To identify the presence of acarine ectoparasites and determine whether there is any potential public health risk in Panti Forest Reserve, Johore, Malaysia.
Methods: Trapping of animals and avifauna was conducted simultaneously along 5 expedition trails using 150 wire traps, 10 harp traps and 30 mist nets for 6 consecutive nights. A total of 140 animals consisting of 7 species of birds, 19 species of bats, 6 species of rodents and 1 species of tree-shrew as well as 8 myriapods were examined.
Results: Infestation rates of ticks, mesostigmatid mites and chiggers on animals examined were 24.3%, 28.6% and 27.9%, respectively. Infestation on bats was low (1.5%) and none occurred on birds. Majority of ticks extracted were at immature stages (78.9%). Genera of ticks on animals were Amblyomma, Dermacentor, Haemaphysalis and Ixodes. Ixodes granulatus was the only species of ticks identified from the animals. Examination of ticks under vegetation revealed 54% adults leading to identification of 3 species of ticks. A total of 7 species of mesostigmatid mites were found. 6 species were on rodent, Maxomys surifer and another one species, Laelaps nuttalli was found only on Leopoldamys sabanus. Laelaps sanguisugus was the only mesostigmatid found infesting tree-shrews. Seven genera of chiggers were identified. From this, 5 genera were on rodents, 4 genera on tree-shrews and 1 genus on a bat.
Conclusions: A total of 16 genera, 2 sub-genus and 14 species of acarine ectoparasites were found in this area. Findings of the survey demonstrate the presence of three spesies of acarine ectoparasites which have potential health risk i.e. Ixodes granulatus, Laelaps nuttalli and Leptotrombidium deliense.
Keywords: Acarine ectoparasites; Avifauna; Chigger; Infestation rate; Ixodes granulatus; Laelaps nuttalli; Leptotrombidium deliense; Malaysia; Mesostigmatid mite; Panti Forest Reserve; Public health risk; Rodent; Tick.