The United States’ cattle industry was ravaged in the early 20th century due to Texas cattle fever, a disease caused by tick-borne parasites Babesia bovis and B. Bigemia. These parasites were transmitted by two species of ticks in the sub-genus Boophilus spp; otherwise referred to as “fever ticks”. Aggressive eradication methods were implemented to mitigate the spread of cattle fever. Nearly 40 years of effort led to the eradication of fever ticks from Texas. In 1943, the current permanent quarantine line along the Mexico border was established to prevent reinvasion.
Since this time, Texas has remained vigilant in attempting to keep the state free of fever ticks and cattle fever. However, a joint study between the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Virginia Tech Animal Laboratory Services, Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) and Texas A&M University is highlighting the importance of testing cattle along the Texas-Mexico border for tick-borne pathogens.
Access the full article by visiting the Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases journal’s website.