This Will Make Your Skin Crawl

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.



Cattle won’t be the only creatures enjoying fresh pasture this spring; so will the Rocky Mountain wood tick and the American dog tick, which can transmit anaplasmosis and other bloodborne diseases. Anaplasmosis was removed from the Federally Reportable Disease list in 2014, so the government is no longer responsible for dealing with anaplasmosis outbreaks or compensating producers with affected herds. Understanding where these ticks are and what influences their population will help develop proactive strategies to avoid the spread of tickborne disease.

Ticks have a three-stage life cycle. Tick larvae emerge from the egg and feed once on blood from small mammals (mice, voles, squirrels, etc.). The engorged larvae then molt into nymphs that also feed once on small mammals. The engorged nymphs molt into adults that feed on larger animals, including dogs, sheep, deer, and cattle. If the adult ticks cannot find a host, they may overwinter under plant material on the ground and re-emerge in spring. Adult ticks begin Continue reading

Understanding risk factors of anaplasmosis transmission


understanding-risk-of-anaplasmosis
Anaplasmosis is a blood-borne disease of cattle caused by the pathogen Anaplasma marginale. This pathogen is transmitted in North America by the Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni) and the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis).The Rocky Mountain wood tick is found In western Saskatchewan to central British Colombia. The American dog tick is found from Saskatchewan east but appears to have undergone a range expansion according to historic record. Currently there is little information on some of the most critical factors that determine the risk of anaplasmosis transmission.

Research currently underway and funded by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster is working to gather Continue reading