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									                     PRESS RELEASE: 15 March 2007

                             Tick course gets thumbs up
The first short course on ticks presented recently at Stellenbosch University was a huge success!
The course was presented by Professor Ivan Horak, tick expert from the Onderstepoort
Veterinary Institute.

Professor Horak has been conducting research on African ticks for more than 20 years and is an
internationally acclaimed authority on tick identification and taxonomy. According to Dr Sonja
Matthee from the University’s Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology (Faculty of
AgriSciences) who organised the course, it was practical based and provided each of the 23
scholars with a hands-on experience. It was attended by veterinarians from pharmaceutical
companies, the private sector and the Department of Agriculture as well as researchers, farmers
and veterinary technologists.

According to Dr Matthee who specialises in parasite biodiversity and parasites as drivers of
ecosystems, the correct identification of tick species, and understanding of their biology will
facilitate better control of ticks in farming systems and geographical areas.

Twenty of the most common tick species that all occur in the southern part of South Africa were
examined and their biology and control were discussed. Special considerations were given to the
diseases carried by these organisms.

The course was registered with the South African Veterinary Association for CPD points. In
addition to the course content Professor Horak also presented an evening seminar on “Parasites
of the Cape Provinces and general principles for their control”. The latter was attended by
approximately 30 people.


A male bont tick (Amblyomma sp) species which was also discussed at the course.

Dr. Sonja Matthee busy with an examination of external parasites on a striped field-mouse.
(Photo: SSFD)

     For more information, contact Karin Theron at tel. 021 - 852 7771 or cell. 083 290 6737.

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