Entomopathogenic fungi as potential tickicidal agent-future perspective
K M Samitha, K R Reshma, K Prakasan
Ticks, the obligate blood feeding parasites have been capturing the attention of mankind for the last several decades because of their medical and veterinary importance. They have substantial impact over the economy and health of the world population. Though chemical acaricide have played a major role in tick management, its injudicious usage has led to undeniable consequences which is a matter of great concern. To curb their impact, biological control using entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) has been manipulated in many countries over the last few decades. However, it still remains to be an unstudied area in developing countries like India. The present review intends to do a small-scale comparison of the efficacy of tickicidal activity of fungal genera like Metarhizium, Beauveria, Verticillium, Paecilomyces. The concentration at which these fungal strains are effective against the different developmental stages of ticks, their percentage of mortality and the time taken have been tabulated. Among which, the Conidia-oil formulations of Metarhizium and Beauveria are found to be the most effective and could be categorised as the most potent pathogenic strains against tick population. Besides effectiveness, their negligible non-target effect also makes them more eco-friendly when compared to chemical acaricides. With an increasing resurgence of tick-borne zoonoses, this review aims to outline the need to develop and to implement entomopathogenic fungi as potential tickicidal agent in near future.