Cattle Tick

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Cattle Tick The cattle tick Boophilus microplus is a significant ectoparasite of cattle and a vector for important diseases such as babesiosis and anaplasmosis. Classification SPC List D disease Susceptible species B. microplus is primarily a parasite of cattle. However, heavy infestations can also occur on horses, sheep, deer and water buffalo. Rarely, ticks have been reported on marsupials, goats, dogs, cats and pigs. Where it occurs The cattle tick is widely distributed in Central and South America, parts of the southern USA, Africa, Asia, and northern Australia. The distribution of the cattle tick is largely determined by climatic factors. B. microplus requires high humidity and ambient temperatures of at least 15-20o C for egg laying and hatching. Clinical signs Cattle tick infestation causes: · damage to hides · loss of production · anaemia and death · weakness leading to greater mortalities during droughts Post-mortem findings Animals may be in poor condition, anaemic. Infestations will be obvious by the presence of engorged ticks attached to the animal's skin. Differential diagnosis Several species of ticks may be found on cattle and it is important to differentiate these from B. microplus. Other ticks include: · Haemophysalis sp.. · Ixodes holocyclus Specimens required for diagnosis Ticks should be collected and forwarded to an entomologist for confirmation of the diagnosis. B. microplus has pale legs, short mouth parts with transversely ridged palps, small eyes and lacks an anal groove. Transmission The life cycle involves free-living stages. After feeding on cattle, engorged female ticks drop to the ground and lay ... ... middle of paper ... ...20,000 ticks are needed. This is a difficult demand to keep up with and so instead of breeding the cattle ticks the traditional way the ticks are genetically engineered as this is a faster easier method. A specific antigen is needed to be found and isolated from samples which are taken from the gut of a tick. The antigen needed was a protein which triggers the immunity system. To isolate the particular protein it had to be identified from about ten thousand proteins found in the gut. Once the particular gene is isolated from the tick it is put into the bacterium which then produces a synthetic antigen. Lastly, this synthetic antigen is inserted into a stable vaccine.
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