Submitted to: Annual Review of Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/17/2014
Publication Date: 1/7/2015
Citation: Scoles, G.A., Ueti, M.W. 2015. Vector ecology of equine piroplasmosis. Annual Review Of Entomology. 60:561-580.
Interpretive Summary: Equine piroplasmosis is a disease of domestic and wild equidae caused by either of two parasites, Theileria equi or Babesia caballi. These parasites are transmitted between mammalian hosts by tick-vectors. This article contains an overview of T. equi and B. caballi with emphasis on the current knowledge of vector ecology of these parasites, tick transmissibility and potential control strategies to prevent their spread to naïve animals.
Technical Abstract: Equine piroplasmosis (EP) is a disease of equidae including horses, donkeys, mules and zebras caused by either of two protozoan parasites, Theileria equi or Babesia caballi. These parasites are biologically transmitted between hosts via tick-vectors and although they have inherent differences, they are categorized together because they cause similar pathology, and have similar morphologies, lifecycles and vector relationships. To complete their life cycle, these parasites must undergo a complex series of developmental events, including sexual stage development in their tick vectors. Consequently, ticks are the definitive hosts as well as vectors for these parasites and the vector relationship is restricted to a few competent tick species. Because the vector relationship is critical to the epidemiology of these parasites we will highlight current knowledge of the vector ecology of these tick-borne equine pathogens, emphasizing tick transmissibility and potential control strategies to prevent their spread.