A species of tick known to cause severe weight loss in cattle has been discovered in northern Missouri, according to researchers at the The University of Missouri reported this week.
According to a university press release, the longhorn tick was found in southern Missouri last year. But Rosalie Ierardi, an anatomical pathologist at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, spotted two of the ticks in Linn County, near the Iowa border.
Longhorn ticks can reproduce more easily than other tick species because females can lay eggs without males.
“Studying the prevalence of invasive ticks in different geographic regions can help veterinarians and farmers take proactive, preventive steps that can ultimately protect livestock health, with huge economic implications,” Ierardi said.
The university says the threat to people, cattle and pets in Missouri remains low, but the species has been known to cost millions of dollars in lost farm revenue around the world. A tick infestation can lead to outbreaks of bovine heleriosis, which kills red blood cells in cows.
According to the university, there are no confirmed cases of bovine atherosclerosis in Missouri.
Ram Raghavan, a professor at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and MU School of Health Professions, has studied and predicted the spread of different types of ticks predict the regions where the goat tick would establish itself in 2019. The tick was first detected in the United States in 2017.
Raghavan warned that the effects of climate change could lead to a sustained increase in tick infestations.
“Warmer temperatures in the Midwest appear to create perfect conditions for ticks and the pathogens they carry to thrive, and this problem could get worse in the future as the planet continues to warm, which is worrying,” Raghavan said. “We must be vigilant and devote resources to preventing these ticks from spreading diseases that are detrimental to the health of cattle, humans and their pets.”
Ranchers whose animals show signs of weakness or jaundice or lose pregnancy should contact their veterinarian and the MU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Ierardi said.
Ierardi said the symptoms could be mistaken for anaplasmosis, another and common cattle disease, and that ranchers should have their animals tested when in doubt.
“Although these longhorn ticks are known to transmit a number of human pathogens,” Leradi said, “the threat from them at the moment appears to be primarily bovine tehiosis, which affects cattle.”
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https://fox2now.com/news/missouri/longhorned-tick-that-can-cause-illness-to-cattle-found-in-northern-missouri/ Longhorn tick, which can cause disease in cattle in northern Missouri