Use of Beauveria bassiana to control Northern fowl mites (Ornithonyssus sylviarum) on roosters in an agricultural research facility

Matthew S W Rassette, Elizabeth I. Pierpont, Tina Wahl, Mark Berres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Treatment of Northern fowl mite (Ornithonyssus sylviarum) infestation on poultry in research facilities can be challenging. The mite has a rapid reproductive cycle (egg to adult in 5 to 7 d), and chemical treatments can be toxic to birds, personnel, and the environment. In addition, antimite treatment may interfere with experimental research designs. The current study evaluated the efficacy of topical application of an entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana, in the treatment of a naturally occurring infestation of Northern fowl mites in pen-housed roosters (n = 14; age, 18 mo). Two groups of 7 roosters each were used in 2 experiments: Beauveria (30 mL, 2.9 × 10 10 spores per bird) compared with water (30 mL, control), and Beauveria compared with the common topical organophosphate agent tetrachlorvinphos-dichlorvos (30 mL). We also assessed a higher dose of Beauveria (300 mL, 2.9 × 10 11 spores per bird) in the 7 birds that were not exposed to tetrachlorvinphos-dichlorvos. Beauveria reduced mite levels relative to the control group but did not outperform tetrachlorvinphos-dichlorvos when used at an equal volume and frequency. Increasing the volume and frequency of Beauveria application improved outcomes such that visual inspection failed to detect any mites. The results presented here suggest that, when applied in sufficient doses, Beauveria effectively reduces mites on poultry and can be an important part of an integrated pest management program. Additional research is needed to document the most effective dose, frequency, and location of B. bassiana application to control Northern fowl mites in poultry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)910-915
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Volume50
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011

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