Dipping and jetting with tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil formulations control lice (Bovicola ovis) on sheep

James, P. J. and Callander, J. T. (2012) Dipping and jetting with tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil formulations control lice (Bovicola ovis) on sheep. Veterinary Parasitology, 189 2-4: 338-343. doi:10.1016/j.vetpar.2012.04.025

Author James, P. J.
Callander, J. T.
Title Dipping and jetting with tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil formulations control lice (Bovicola ovis) on sheep
Journal name Veterinary Parasitology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0304-4017
Publication date 2012-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.vetpar.2012.04.025
Volume 189
Issue 2-4
Start page 338
End page 343
Total pages 6
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract The in vivo pediculicidal effectiveness of 1% and 2% formulations of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil (TTO) against sheep chewing lice (Bovicola ovis) was tested in two pen studies. Immersion dipping of sheep shorn two weeks before treatment in both 1% and 2% formulations reduced lice to non detectable levels. No lice were found on any of the treated sheep despite careful inspection of at least 40 fleece partings per animal at 2, 6, 12 and 20 weeks after treatment. In the untreated sheep louse numbers increased from a mean (±SE) of 2.4 (±0.7) per 10. cm fleece part at 2 weeks to 12.3 (±4.2) per part at 20 weeks. Treatment of sheep with 6 months wool by jetting (high pressure spraying into the fleece) reduced louse numbers by 94% in comparison to controls at two weeks after treatment with both 1% and 2% TTO formulations. At 6 and 12 weeks after treatment reductions were 94% and 91% respectively with the 1% formulation and 78% and 84% respectively with the 2% formulation. TTO treatment also appeared to reduce wool damage in infested sheep. Laboratory studies indicated that tea tree oil 'stripped' from solution with a progressive reduction in concentration as well as volume as more wool was dipped, indicating that reinforcement of active ingredient would be required to maintain effectiveness when large numbers of sheep are treated. The results of these studies suggest significant potential for the development of ovine lousicides incorporating TTO.
Keyword Tea tree oil
Ovis aries
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
Official 2013 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 15 Nov 2012, 11:38:56 EST by System User on behalf of Qld Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation