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

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Title: USDA-ARS Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory Tick & Biting Fly Research Unit scientific update

Author
item Perez De Leon, Adalberto - Beto
item Davey, Ronald
item Goolsby, John
item Guerrero, Felicito - Felix
item Li, Andrew
item Lohmeyer, Kimberly - Kim
item Miller, Robert
item Olafson, Pia
item Osbrink, Weste
item Pound, Joe
item Showler, Allan
item Temeyer, Kevin
item Thomas, Donald
item Skoda, Steven

Submitted to: United States Animal Health Association Proceedings
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/12/2012
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Ticks and biting flies cause tremendous economic losses to the U.S. livestock industry and are a health concern to humans. Research on their biology and control is done at the Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory, Tick and Biting Fly Research Unit. Four talented scientists were added to the research team this past year. We are emphasizing research to increase understanding of the biology and control of ticks impacting animal and human health, mining the genome of the cattle fever tick to develop novel control technology, and molecular biology and physiology of biting flies. We showed that the insecticide Ravap® could be used to control tick strains resistant to organo-phosphates, identified and reported resistance of ticks to fipronil, and reported that ivermectin added to a molasses feed supplement provided excellent control of ticks under field conditions. Vaccines developed against cattle ticks were tested and shown effective. Activities were expanded towards completion of the tick genome project. Work progressed to determine the physiology of tick resistance to insecticides. Analysis of doramectin levels in cattle serum showed that the current recommended treatment regimen is valid. We demonstrated the potential of the growth inhibitors (pyriproxyfen and buprofezin) and a novel pesticide (novaluron) in fly management programs. Improvements were made to bait stations used to apply tick control on local deer populations, and activities were initiated to determine if dogs could be trained to detect cattle fever ticks in the quarantine zone. Methods to accurately sample native tick populations were investigated while also working to determine the areas of favorable tick habitat in the quarantine zone and develop methods to control invasive plants that contribute to tick survival. We also described vulnerabilities to the cattle fever tick eradication effort associated with global change. The concept of integrated eradication was proposed so the Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program can address these challenges and fullfill it's mission in a sustainable manner.

Technical Abstract: Ticks and biting flies cause tremendous economic damage to the U.S. livestock industry while also being a health concern to humans. Research on their biology and control is done at the Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory, Tick and Biting Fly Research Unit with scientists located in Kerrville, TX and the Cattle Fever Tick Research Laboratory near Edinburg, TX. The current five-year research cycle emphasizes research on the biology and control of ticks of veterinary and human importance, mining the genome of Rhipicephalus microplus to develop novel control technology and vaccines, and molecular biology and physiology of biting flies affecting livestock. Four talented scientists were added to the research team this past year. We documented the positive effect of Ravap® on tick strains resistant to organo-phosphates, identified and reported resistance of ticks to fipronil, and reported the value of ivermectin for tick control when added to a molasses feed supplement tested uner field conditions. Vaccines developed against cattle ticks were tested and shown effective. Activities were expanded towards completion of the tick genome project. Work progressed to determine the physiology of tick resistance to insecticides while analysis of doramectin levels in cattle serum showed that the current recommended treatment regimen is valid. The potential was demonstrated of the growth inhibitors pyriproxyfen and buprofezin as well as a novel benzoylphenyl urea pesticide (novaluron) in fly management programs. Improvements were developed to bait stations used to apply tick control on local deer populations, and activities initiated to determine the potential for dogs to be trained to detect cattle fever ticks. Methods to accurately sample native tick populations were investigated while also working to determine the areas of favorable tick habitat in the quarantine zone and develop methods to control invasive plants that contribute to tick survival. Finally, we described vulnerabilities induced by global changes that necessitate retooling and fully integrating the approach to keep the U.S. free of cattle fever ticks.