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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Introduced Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases: the Threat and Approaches to Eradication

Authors
item George, John
item Davey, Ronald
item Pound, Joe

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: August 26, 2002
Publication Date: October 31, 2002
Citation: GEORGE, J.E., D, R.B., POUND, J.M. INTRODUCED TICKS AND TICK-BORNE DISEASES: THE THREAT AND APPROACHES TO ERADICATION. THE VETERINARY CLINICS FOOD ANIMAL PRACTICE. CHAPTER 18. 2002. pp. 401-406.

Interpretive Summary: We have reoccurring problems in the U.S. with introductions of exotic species of ticks. These ticks represent a risk to the health of cattle and other animals because of the tick-borne disease agents that they might carry into the country. On several occasions in the past, ticks and/or tick-borne diseases not native to the U.S. have become established. All of the introduced tick species and tick-borne diseases of cattle and wildlife have been successfully eradicated. These eradication campaigns serve as models for possible future efforts. There is a need for risk analyses of potential problems with exotic tick species and disease agents, such as bovine babesiosis and heartwater, and for the creation of detailed emergency response plans to provide a basis for prompt, coordinated, and efficacious responses to introductions and disease outbreaks.

Technical Abstract: Exotic tick species and tick-borne disease are a serious threat to livestock, companion animals, and wildlife in the U.S. Recurring introductions of exotic tick species indicate the degree of risk. Successful tick eradication campaigns such as the national program that eradicated Boophilus annulatus and B. microplus from the U.S., and the eradication action that eliminated Rhipicephalus evertsi from a game park in Florida are sources of useful information about the elements of successful eradication programs. Examples of failed eradication programs in places such as Puerto Rico and St. Croix also have heuristic value. Among the variety of tick species and related infectious agents that threaten the U.S., Boophilus ticks and bovine babesiosis, Amblyomma species (especially the tropical bont tick) and heartwater, and equine babesiosis, for which endemic vectors exist, are a special concern. Risk assessments to accumulate, evaluate, and synthesize information needed to appraise risks, consequences, and preparedness are needed not just to inform federal, state, and local officials, and, also, producers and stakeholders, but to facilitate the creation of emergency response plans.

Last Modified: 8/21/2014
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