Wolbachia: A tool for livestock ectoparasite control

Vet Parasitol. 2020 Dec;288:109297. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2020.109297. Epub 2020 Nov 4.


Ectoparasites and livestock-associated insects are a major concern throughout the world because of their economic and welfare impacts. Effective control is challenging and relies mainly on the use of chemical insecticides and acaricides. Wolbachia, an arthropod and nematode-infecting, maternally-transmitted endosymbiont is currently of widespread interest for use in novel strategies for the control of a range of arthropod-vectored human diseases and plant pests but to date has received only limited consideration for use in the control of diseases of veterinary concern. Here, we review the currently available information on Wolbachia in veterinary ectoparasites and disease vectors, consider the feasibility for use of Wolbachia in the control of livestock pests and diseases and highlight critical issues which need further investigation.

Keywords: Biocontrol; Ectoparasites; Endosymbiont; Fleas; Flies; Livestock pests; Mites; Ticks; Wolbachia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Camelus / parasitology
  • Cattle / parasitology
  • Cimicidae / microbiology
  • Diptera / microbiology
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / parasitology
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / prevention & control
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / veterinary*
  • Goats / parasitology
  • Horses / parasitology
  • Livestock*
  • Mites / microbiology
  • Phthiraptera / microbiology
  • Sheep, Domestic / parasitology
  • Siphonaptera / microbiology
  • Sus scrofa / parasitology
  • Ticks / microbiology
  • Wolbachia / physiology*