Submitted to: American Mosquito Control Association
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/29/2015
Publication Date: 3/29/2015
Citation: Li, A.Y., Guerrero, F., Miller, R., Perez De Leon, A.A. 2015. Tick-borne Diseases in Animals and USDA Research on Tick Control. American Mosquito Control Association. P.38.
Technical Abstract: Tick-borne diseases represent a major threat to animal health in the United States. The cattle industry in the United States has benefited greatly from the continued USDA efforts through the Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program in preventing the re-introduction of cattle ticks and associated pathogens that cause Cattle Fever Disease (Bovine Babesioses) from Mexico. However, frequent outbreaks of cattle ticks in the quarantine zone alone the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas and the wide-spread presence of acaricide-resistant ticks both in Mexico highlight the risk of potential spreading of cattle ticks beyond the quarantined areas. Livestock production in the U.S. is also threatened by a number of foreign tick-borne diseases, including Heartwater and African Swine Fever. The Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma maculatum) is a known vector of pathogens that cause spotted fever rickettsiosis in humans and is also an efficient vector of pathogens that cause Heartwater. This tick species is expanding its range northward to reach Virginia currently. The soft tick Ornithodoros spp. are known vectors that transmit African Swine Fever Virus in Africa and Europe, and a number of Ornithodoros spp. are present in the U.S. To mitigate the threat of tick-borne diseases to livestock production, USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) conducts research on tick-borne pathogen and tick control at several laboratories to develop novel control technologies. The 4-Poster Deer Treatment Bait Station developed by ARS scientists has been shown to be effective in reducing population density of both the long star tick and blacklegged ticks in the northeast. New generation of anti-tick vaccines is being developed at the ARS laboratory in Texas. Research is also proposed to investigate the biology of Ornithodoros spp. and feral swine parasitism as risks for the emergence of African Swine Fever in the United States.