Location: Animal Diseases Research
Project Number: 2090-32000-034-03
Start Date: Aug 30, 2012
End Date: Jul 31, 2017
To identify site(s) in southeast Texas in close proximity to areas where the outbreak(s) of equine piroplasmosis have occurred. Using a variety of different sampling methods (dragging, CO2 trapping, inspection of hosts, etc.) establish the inventory of tick species present at different times of year (to establish seasonal variation). Collect and ship live ticks to ADRU so they can be evaluated for the presence of Theileria equi and/or Babesia caballi. Collect host association, habitat, climatic, land use, geospatial, and any other data that may influence presence or abundance of the different tick species. Evaluate the data collected for each tick species to see which may have an ecological association with horses that might implicate them as potential vectors, and establish colonies of those species to evaluate their vector competence for T. equi and B. caballi. Develop a geographic information system (GIS) based model as a framework for organization of all the data to test tick-host-landscape interactions that might support zoonotic maintenance of equine piroplasmosis pathogens, and to test the linkages between these interactions with field-based epidemiology. Using this model identify options for intervention and management.