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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGY AND CONTROL OF TICKS OF VETERINARY AND HUMAN IMPORTANCE

Location: Tick and Biting Fly Research

Title: One Health Approach to Identify Research Needs in Bovine and Human Babesioses: Workshop Report

Authors
item Perez De Leon, Adalberto
item Strickman, Daniel
item Knowles, Donald
item Fish, Durland -
item Thacker, Eileen
item DE La Fuente, Jose -
item Krause, Peter -
item Wikel, Stephen -
item Miller, Ryan
item Wagner, Gale -
item Almazan, Consuelo -
item Hillman, Robert -
item Messenger, Matthew -
item Ugstad, Paul -
item Duhaime, Roberta -
item Teel, Pete -
item Ortega-Santos, Alfonso -
item Hewitt, David -
item Bowers, Edwin -
item Bent, Stephen -
item Cochran, Matt -
item Mcelwain, Terry -
item Scoles, Glen
item Suarez, Carlos
item Davey, Ronald
item Freeman, Jeanne
item Lohmeyer, Kimberly
item Li, Andrew
item Guerrero, Felix
item Kammlah, Diane
item Phillips, Pamela
item Pound, Joe

Submitted to: BioMed Central (BMC) Parasites and Vectors
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 8, 2010
Publication Date: April 8, 2010
Citation: Perez De Leon, A.A., Strickman, D.A., Knowles Jr, D.P., Fish, D., Thacker, E.L., De La Fuente, J., Krause, P.J., Wikel, S.K., Miller, R., Wagner, G.G., Almazan, C., Hillman, R., Messenger, M.T., Ugstad, P.O., Duhaime, R.A., Teel, P.D., Ortega-Santos, A., Hewitt, D.G., Bowers, E.J., Bent, S.J., Cochran, M.H., Mcelwain, T.F., Scoles, G.A., Suarez, C.E., Davey, R.B., Freeman, J.M., Lohmeyer, K.H., Li, A.Y., Guerrero, F., Kammlah, D.M., Phillips, P.L., Pound, J.M. 2010. One Health approach to identify research needs in bovine and human babesioses: Workshop report. Parasites & Vectors. 3:Article 36.

Interpretive Summary: Keeping CFT eradicated from the U.S. is a current and critical agricultural biosecurity issue of national relevance. Human babesiosis is an emerging disease of public health concern in the U.S., especially for the immunocompromised and people receiving blood transfusions. The One Health approach to the discussion of current issues on emerging babesioses during the workshop helped identify commonalities in research and development initiatives that are critically important to mitigate their impact on human and animal health. We suggest that research be prioritized to these areas where considerable gaps in knowledge and technology were identified: 1) tick vector ecology studies addressing the epidemiology of human and animal babesioses; 2) the molecular basis of host-Babesia and host-tick interactions in humans, livestock and wildlife; 3)implications of the wildlife-livestock interface on the apparent resurgence of CFT outbreaks and the reservoir status of white-tailed deer and non-native wild ungulates for B. bovis and B. bigemina; 4) integrated approaches for sustainable CFT eradication to include research on safer acaricides with new modes of action and the development of more effective formulations using active ingredients already registered or approved with the regulatory agencies; 5) diagnostic and prophylactic interventions for control of human and animal babesioses; 6) assessing the utility of prophylactic intervention with Bm86-based vaccines, or through the use of other tick protective antigens, in CFT eradication efforts as well as tick-vaccines and delivery methods for white-tailed deer in human babesioisis prevention. Initiatives to pursue the research needs presented here require adequate funding, but the One Health concept offers the opportunity to focus interdisciplinary research efforts that maximize the use of limited resources through collaborations between investigators with expertise in the human and veterinary medical sciences.

Technical Abstract: Babesia are emerging health threats to humans and animals in the United States. A collaborative effort of multiple disciplines to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment, otherwise known as the One Health concept, was taken during a research workshop held in April 2009 to identify gaps in scientific knowledge regarding babesioses. The impetus for this analysis was the increased risk for outbreaks of bovine babesiosis, also known as Texas cattle fever, associated with the apparent re-infestation of the U.S. by cattle fever ticks. The involvement of wildlife in the ecology of cattle fever ticks jeopardizes the ability of state and federal agencies to keep the national herd free of Texas cattle fever. Similarly, there has been a progressive increase in the number of cases of human babesiosis over the past 25 years due to an increase in the white-tailed deer population. Human babesiosis due to cattle-associated Babesia divergens and Babesia divergens-like organisms have begun to appear in residents of the United States. Research needs for human and bovine abesioses were identified and are presented herein. The translation of this research is expected to provide veterinary and public health systems with the tools to mitigate the impact of bovine and human babesioses. However, economic, political, and social commitments are urgently required, including increased national funding for animal and human Babesia research, to prevent the re-establishment of cattle fever ticks and the increasing problem of human babesiosis in the United States.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014