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2 April 2021 Biosurveillance and Research Needs Involving Area-Wide Systematic Active Sampling to Enhance Integrated Cattle Fever Tick (Ixodida: Ixodidae) Eradication
Allan T. Showler, Adalberto Pérez de León, Perot Saelao
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The one-host cattle fever tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus (Say), and southern cattle fever tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Canestrini), are important ectoparasitic pests of cattle, Bos taurus L., mostly for transmitting the causal agents of bovine babesiosis. Bovine babesiosis inflicted substantial cattle production losses in the United States before the vectors were eliminated by 1943, with the exception of a Permanent Quarantine Zone in South Texas, a buffer along the Mexico border where the invasive ixodids remain. As suitable hosts, infested white-tailed deer and nilgai antelope populations disperse R. annulatus and R. microplus, which increases the risk for emergence of bovine babesiosis in the United States. A R. microplus incursion first detected in 2016 on the SouthTexas coastal plain wildlife corridor involved infestations on cattle, nilgai antelope, white-tailed deer, and vegetation. Efforts at passive sampling of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) spp. on hosts are concentrated in the Permanent Quarantine Zone. Hence, a knowledge gap exists on the full extent of the recent incursions. Area-wide, systematic, active sampling and supportive research, involving the Permanent Quarantine Zone, Temporary Quarantine Zone, most of the coastal plain, and other parts of Texas outside of the quarantine zones, are needed to bridge the knowledge gap. Herein, we provide research perspectives and rationale to develop and implement systematic active sampling that will provide an increasingly accurate assessment of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) spp. distribution in Texas. We suggest that this is essential to advance integrated vector-borne animal disease eradication approaches for keeping cattle free of bovine babesiosis.

Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2021. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Allan T. Showler, Adalberto Pérez de León, and Perot Saelao "Biosurveillance and Research Needs Involving Area-Wide Systematic Active Sampling to Enhance Integrated Cattle Fever Tick (Ixodida: Ixodidae) Eradication," Journal of Medical Entomology 58(4), 1601-1609, (2 April 2021).
Received: 7 January 2021; Accepted: 25 February 2021; Published: 2 April 2021

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nilgai antelope
Rhipicephalus microplus
white-tailed deer
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