||In West Africa, cross-border transhumance, also called seasonal migration, is known to be a very important animal production strategy, as it involves about 70 to 90% of cattle. In spite of the cattle movements, some strategic areas of transhumance remain poorly explored regarding ticks and their associated pathogens investigations. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the involvement of transhumance in the spread of cattle ticks and associated pathogens in Burkina Faso (BF) and Benin (BN), in a context of speedy invasion of West African livestock by Rhipicephalus microplus. A longitudinal survey was performed on 210 cattle from BF, monitored for ticks and tick-borne pathogens (TBP) during one seasonal transhumance. The first sampling coded “T0BF” took place in eastern BF, at the transhumance departure. A second sampling “T1BN” was carried out in northern BN, the transhumance arrival zone. A third sampling “T2BF” was done at the return of cattle in eastern BF. Ticks were morphologically identified and TBP detected with reverse line blot hybridization (RLB) assay. A total of 1027 ticks (7 species), 1006 ticks (11 species) and 1211 ticks (9 species) were respectively found at T0BF, T1BN and T2BF. Some species were collected at the three times of sampling without any significant difference in their relative abundances. However, other tick species appeared only at T1BN and/or T2BF. The TBP species found at the three points surveyed were Theileria annulata, Theileria mutans, Theileria velifera, Babesia bigemina and Anaplasma marginale. The most prevalent was T. mutans with 166/210 (79%), 159/210 (75.7%) and 78/210 (37%) cattle positive respectively at T0BF, T1BN and T2BF. Anaplasma centrale was evidenced with 0.5% and 0.9% respectively at T0BF and T2BF. To our knowledge, this represents its first report in the study area.
Overall, the TBP prevalences were significantly lower at T2BF, highlighting the effect of tick populations changes induced by transhumance combined with the seasonal variation influence.