Long-horned ticks discovered in northern Miso

Photo: long-horned tick
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Credit: University of Missouri

The Longhorned tick is causing millions of dollars in lost agricultural revenue to livestock producers around the world, and is now in northern Missouri.

Originally found in eastern Russia and the Australian region, this tick was first found in the United States in 2017 in New Jersey. It has since reached the mid-Atlantic, New England and Midwestern regions of the United States, and now researchers at the University of Missouri in northern Missouri have discovered it for the first time.

Last year, the Longhorned tick was found in the southern part of the state. This latest finding indicates an additional economic burden on livestock producers due to ticks; Because the infestation of the long-horned tick can lead to a significant loss in overweight livestock, similar to an already widespread disease called anaplasmosis; But so far, the threat from this type of tick to livestock — and people and their pets — in Missouri remains low. However, researchers emphasize that the discovery of Longhorned ticks in the condition increases the need for extra vigilance towards ticks in general.

While most ticks reproduce conventionally, female longhorn ticks can lay thousands of eggs without the help of a male, making it easier for them to establish quickly in new areas. Infestations of longhorn ticks can potentially lead to the transmission of bovine theileriosis, a disease that kills red blood cells in cattle.

Although there are currently no confirmed cases of bovine theileriosis in Missouri cattle, this finding increases the need for Missouri ranchers to make informed decisions regarding quarantine protocols when introducing new cattle to their herds in an effort to protect the health of their cattle, which has economic implications. big.

“Studying the spread of invasive ticks in different geographical areas can help veterinarians and farmers take proactive preventive steps that may ultimately protect the health of livestock, which has implications for Huge economics. Medicine recently discovered two longhorn ticks in Lynn County, Missouri while conducting anaplasmosis surveillance research.

Ierardi collaborated on the project with Ram Raghavan, a professor at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and MU College of Health Professions. Raghavan, who has been tracking the spread of different species of ticks in the United States for 15 years, predicted the likely geographic distribution of Longhorned ticks back in 2019. So far, the tick appears to originate in the areas he predicted in which – which study. Not only does there appear to be an increase in the abundance of all ticks in the Midwest in the past decade, but also an increase in the pathogens and diseases they transmit to livestock, humans and pets, he said.

“Warmer temperatures in the Midwest appear to be creating ideal conditions for ticks and the pathogens they carry to thrive, and this problem may get worse as the planet continues to warm, which is worrisome,” Raghavan said. We must be vigilant and allocate resources to try to prevent these ticks from spreading diseases that harm the health of livestock, humans and their pets. The discovery of Longhorned ticks in northern Missouri greatly increases the need for greater vigilance toward ticks in general and the need for routine surveillance for the pathogens they transmit.”

Ierardi encourages breeders who notice weakness, jaundice and pregnancy loss in their livestock to contact their local vet and MU Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory to help track down the causes of these signs.

“The symptoms of this disease can often be confused with anaplasmosis, so we encourage producers and practitioners to be vigilant and test their animals whenever there is a suspicion,” Ierardi said. “Although longhorn ticks are known to transmit a number of human pathogens, at present the threat from them appears to be predominantly bovine Theileria, which affects livestock.”

For more information on the Longhorned tick, visit USDA APHIS website.

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