Texas Animal Health Commission

Austin, TX, United States

Texas Animal Health Commission

Austin, TX, United States
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Szonyi B.,Texas A&M University | Szonyi B.,Texas College | Srinath I.,Texas A&M University | Schwartz A.,Texas Animal Health Commission | And 2 more authors.
Veterinary Parasitology | Year: 2012

Texas is the largest cattle producing state and suffers severe economic losses due to abortions caused by the protozoan parasite Tritrichomonas foetus. The objective of this study was to use data from the state-wide diagnostic laboratory system of Texas to investigate the occurrence and spatio-temporal distribution of bovine trichomoniasis (BT) in Texas, and to identify spatial disease clusters within the state. The study population consisted of bulls tested for BT in 2010 by the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory system that performs at least 95% of all T. foetus testing in the state. Preputial samples were cultured and diagnosis was made by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Data on BT was aggregated at the county level with time aggregation of one month. The scan statistics was used to identify spatial disease clusters. The database included 31,202 test results with a proportion of positives of 3.7%. As expected, BT was present throughout Texas. Testing prevalence was highest in the summer (5.5%). The scan statistics identified a spatial cluster in southeastern Texas, which could only partially be explained by cattle herd density. The findings of this study provide baseline data to monitor the success of BT control activities in Texas and aids in generating hypotheses regarding specific risk factors for the disease. The identification of high-risk areas and periods is also essential to improve intervention efforts. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Perez De Lean A.A.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Strickman D.A.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Knowles D.P.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Fish D.,Yale University | And 29 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2010

Background. Babesia are emerging health threats to humans and animals in the United States. A collaborative effort of multiple disciplines to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment, otherwise known as the One Health concept, was taken during a research workshop held in April 2009 to identify gaps in scientific knowledge regarding babesioses. The impetus for this analysis was the increased risk for outbreaks of bovine babesiosis, also known as Texas cattle fever, associated with the re-infestation of the U.S. by cattle fever ticks. Results. The involvement of wildlife in the ecology of cattle fever ticks jeopardizes the ability of state and federal agencies to keep the national herd free of Texas cattle fever. Similarly, there has been a progressive increase in the number of cases of human babesiosis over the past 25 years due to an increase in the white-tailed deer population. Human babesiosis due to cattle-associated Babesia divergens and Babesia divergens-like organisms have begun to appear in residents of the United States. Research needs for human and bovine babesioses were identified and are presented herein. Conclusions. The translation of this research is expected to provide veterinary and public health systems with the tools to mitigate the impact of bovine and human babesioses. However, economic, political, and social commitments are urgently required, including increased national funding for animal and human Babesia research, to prevent the re-establishment of cattle fever ticks and the increasing problem of human babesiosis in the United States. © 2010 Pérez de Leán et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Benjamin L.A.,Texas A&M University | Fosgate G.T.,Texas A&M University | Ward M.P.,Texas A&M University | Roussel A.J.,Texas A&M University | And 2 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2010

The success of control programs can be improved when producers' attitudes towards these programs are positive. Implementation of control programs for chronic diseases are more challenging than those for acute diseases because of the absence of the "cues-to-action" that are associated with acute diseases. Johne's disease (JD) is a chronic diarrheal disease of ruminants, and national voluntary control programs exist in several countries. We used a mailed cross-sectional survey to describe the attitudes of producers towards biosecurity practices and veterinarians' beliefs relevant to the control of JD on beef farms. Another objective was to describe and compare the attitudes of producers and veterinarians towards specific measures recommended by the Texas Voluntary Johne's Disease Program (TVJDP) for cattle. Questionnaires were mailed to 1100 producers and 840 veterinarians in the state of Texas, USA. Two hundred and eighty-five producers (26%) and 153 veterinarians (18%) returned questionnaires for analysis. Fifty-nine percent of producers and 50% of veterinarians agreed that JD is responsible for substantial losses in beef cattle production. Sixty-four percent of veterinarians had educated producers on management strategies for the control or elimination of JD. However, only 36% had participated in the training program and 29% were certified to develop risk assessments and implement testing. Only 20% of producers reported that they were familiar with the TVJDP and 16% had considered participating in this program. There is a need for greater promotion of the control program among veterinarians and producers. Reasons for the apparent difference in opinions need to be understood to increase the likelihood of control measures adoption and to subsequently reduce the impact of JD on beef cattle operations. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Musser J.M.B.,Texas A&M University | Schwartz A.L.,Texas Animal Health Commission | Srinath I.,Texas A&M University
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2013

Using serology and bacterial culture, we determined the prevalence of Brucella spp. and the antibody to Brucella spp. in a feral swine (Sus scrofa) population in proximity to a cattle herd that was culture positive for Brucella abortus and Brucella suis in north-central Texas, USA. During a prospectivecross-sectionalquantitative study in April 2005, we collected blood and tissue samples from40 feral swine within a 30-km radius of theinfected herd. Serum samples were tested by the Rose Bengal test, particle concentration fluorescence immunoassay, and fluorescence polarization assay. In addition, tissue samples were cultured, and the Brucella species and biovar determined. Four feral swine were Brucella positive by serology, and two were culture positive for B. suis biovar 1. Of the culture-positive swine, one was concurrently antibody and culture positive, and one was culture positive only. The presumptive source of the B. suis infection in the index cattle herd was likely the surrounding feral swine population. Because B. abortus was not cultured from the feral swine, it is unlikely that the source of the B. abortus infection in the index herd originated from the feral swine. Endemic diseases in feral swine populations can pose a disease threat to livestock and a zoonotic risk to humans. © Wildlife Disease Association 2013.


Miller R.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Estrada-Pena A.,University of Zaragoza | Almazan C.,Autonomous University of Tamaulipas | Allen A.,Pfizer | And 5 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2012

Bovine babesiosis, also known as cattle fever, is a tick-borne protozoal disease foreign to the United States. It was eradicated by eliminating the vector species, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, through the efforts of the Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program (CFTEP), with the exception of a permanent quarantine zone (PQZ) in south Texas along the border with Mexico. Keeping the U.S. free of cattle fever ticks in a sustainable manner is a critical national agricultural biosecurity issue. The efficacy of a Bm86-based anti-tick vaccine commercialized outside of the U.S. was evaluated against a strain of R. annulatus originated from an outbreak in Texas. Vaccination controlled 99.9 and 91.4% of the ticks 8 weeks and 5.5 months after the initial vaccination, respectively. Computer modeling of habitat suitability within the PQZ typically at risk of re-infestation with R. annulatus from Mexico predicted that at a level of control greater than 40%, eradication would be maintained indefinitely. Efficacy and computer modeling data indicate that the integration of vaccination using a Bm86-based anti-tick vaccine with standard eradication practices within the northwestern half of the PQZ could incentivize producers to maintain cattle on pasture thereby avoiding the need to vacate infested premises. Implementing this epidemiologically proactive strategy offers the opportunity to prevent R. annulatus outbreaks in the U.S., which would represent a significant shift in the way the CFTEP operates. © 2012.


Ueti M.W.,Animal Diseases Research Unit | Ueti M.W.,Washington State University | Mealey R.H.,Washington State University | Kappmeyer L.S.,Animal Diseases Research Unit | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Arthropod-borne apicomplexan pathogens that cause asymptomatic persistent infections present a significant challenge due to their life-long transmission potential. Although anti-microbials have been used to ameliorate acute disease in animals and humans, chemotherapeutic efficacy for apicomplexan pathogen elimination from a persistently infected host and removal of transmission risk is largely unconfirmed. The recent re-emergence of the apicomplexan Theileria equi in U.S. horses prompted testing whether imidocarb dipropionate was able to eliminate T. equi from naturally infected horses and remove transmission risk. Following imidocarb treatment, levels of T. equi declined from a mean of 104.9 organisms/ml of blood to undetectable by nested PCR in 24 of 25 naturally infected horses. Further, blood transfer from treated horses that became nested PCR negative failed to transmit to naïve splenectomized horses. Although these results were consistent with elimination of infection in 24 of 25 horses, T. equi-specific antibodies persisted in the majority of imidocarb treated horses. Imidocarb treatment was unsuccessful in one horse which remained infected as measured by nested PCR and retained the ability to infect a naïve recipient via intravenous blood transfer. However, a second round of treatment eliminated T. equi infection. These results support the utility of imidocarb chemotherapy for assistance in the control and eradication of this tick-borne pathogen. Successful imidocarb dipropionate treatment of persistently infected horses provides a tool to aid the global equine industry by removing transmission risk associated with infection and facilitating international movement of equids between endemic and non-endemic regions.


Dominguez B.J.,Texas A&M University | Mays G.,Texas A&M University | Hughes-Garza H.,Texas Animal Health Commission | Walch G.,Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service | Bissett W.T.,Texas A&M University
Journal of Swine Health and Production | Year: 2013

Prevention and mitigation of disease is a constant challenge to the continuity of operations for swine production systems. Certain diseases may severely hamper and even end livestock production on a farm because of the severity of the disease, the regulatory implications, or the public perception caused by a confirmed infection. The case presented here illustrates steps taken by a transitional swine facility, one in which there is potential for exposure to feral swine, to mitigate problems created by exposure to a feral boar infected with pseudorabies virus. These issues may serve as discussion points for other swine facilities in planning for the continuity of their operations in the face of a disease exposure.

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