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      Integrated Strategy for Sustainable Cattle Fever Tick Eradication in USA is Required to Mitigate the Impact of Global Change

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          The ticks Rhipicephalus ( Boophilus) annulatus and R. ( B.) microplus, commonly known as cattle and southern cattle tick, respectively, impede the development and sustainability of livestock industries throughout tropical and other world regions. They affect animal productivity and wellbeing directly through their obligate blood-feeding habit and indirectly by serving as vectors of the infectious agents causing bovine babesiosis and anaplasmosis. The monumental scientific discovery of certain arthropod species as vectors of infectious agents is associated with the history of research on bovine babesiosis and R. annulatus. Together, R. microplus and R. annulatus are referred to as cattle fever ticks (CFT). Bovine babesiosis became a regulated foreign animal disease in the United States of America (U.S.) through efforts of the Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program (CFTEP) established in 1906. The U.S. was declared free of CFT in 1943, with the exception of a permanent quarantine zone in south Texas along the border with Mexico. This achievement contributed greatly to the development and productivity of animal agriculture in the U.S. The permanent quarantine zone buffers CFT incursions from Mexico where both ticks and babesiosis are endemic. Until recently, the elimination of CFT outbreaks relied solely on the use of coumaphos, an organophosphate acaricide, in dipping vats or as a spray to treat livestock, or the vacation of pastures. However, ecological, societal, and economical changes are shifting the paradigm of systematically treating livestock to eradicate CFT. Keeping the U.S. CFT-free is a critical animal health issue affecting the economic stability of livestock and wildlife enterprises. Here, we describe vulnerabilities associated with global change forces challenging the CFTEP. The concept of integrated CFT eradication is discussed in reference to global change.

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              The ecology of climate change and infectious diseases.

              The projected global increase in the distribution and prevalence of infectious diseases with climate change suggests a pending societal crisis. The subject is increasingly attracting the attention of health professionals and climate-change scientists, particularly with respect to malaria and other vector-transmitted human diseases. The result has been the emergence of a crisis discipline, reminiscent of the early phases of conservation biology. Latitudinal, altitudinal, seasonal, and interannual associations between climate and disease along with historical and experimental evidence suggest that climate, along with many other factors, can affect infectious diseases in a nonlinear fashion. However, although the globe is significantly warmer than it was a century ago, there is little evidence that climate change has already favored infectious diseases. While initial projections suggested dramatic future increases in the geographic range of infectious diseases, recent models predict range shifts in disease distributions, with little net increase in area. Many factors can affect infectious disease, and some may overshadow the effects of climate.

                Author and article information

                Front Physiol
                Front Physiol
                Front. Physio.
                Frontiers in Physiology
                Frontiers Research Foundation
                14 June 2012
                : 3
                1simpleKnipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service Kerrville, TX, USA
                2simpleDepartment of Entomology, Texas A&M University College Station, TX, USA
                3simpleRisk Analysis Systems, United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Riverdale, MD, USA
                4simpleCattle Fever Tick Eradication Program, United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services Riverdale, MD, USA
                5simpleDepartment of Agriculture, Agribusiness and Environmental Sciences, Texas A&M University-Kingsville Kingsville, TX, USA
                6simpleCattle Fever Tick Research Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service Edinburg, TX, USA
                Author notes

                Edited by: Rubén Bueno-Marí, University of Valencia, Spain

                Reviewed by: Ali Torkamani, University of California at San Diego, USA; Nordin Zeidner, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA; Katherine Kocan, Oklahoma State University, USA

                *Correspondence: Adalberto A. Pérez de León, Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service, 2700 Fredericksburg Drive, Kerrville, TX 78028, USA. e-mail: beto.perezdeleon@

                Adalberto A. Pérez de León and Pete D. Teel have contributed equally to this work.

                This article was submitted to Frontiers in Systems Biology, a specialty of Frontiers in Physiology.

                Copyright © 2012 Pérez de León, Teel, Auclair, Messenger, Guerrero, Schuster and Miller.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 8, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 168, Pages: 17, Words: 15057
                Original Research


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