Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Develops New Test for Livestock Diseases

The Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratorypart of Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicinehas developed a new test for two major blood-borne diseases in cattle.

The Molecular Research and Development section of the laboratory has developed a specific bovine test for the endemic disease anaplasmosis and the emerging disease Theileriosis. These diseases are caused primarily in the United States by the American dog tick for anaplasmosis, and the Asian long-horned tick for Theileria.

The new test will allow veterinarians and cattle producers to screen their herds and herd additions for these specific pathogenic organisms, helping them to more effectively prevent and manage disease.

Although there is more than one species of Anaplasma organism in cattle, anaplasmosis is caused by a specific bacterium called Anaplasma marginale. This organism can be found in every state except Hawaii and is endemic to many parts of the United States. Infection can occur at any age, but clinical signs are usually seen only in animals over 2 years old. Anemia, breathing difficulties and death are common clinical signs. Treatment is generally successful with currently available antimicrobials.

Several species of Theileria are present in cattle populations. The Asian long-horned tick responsible for transmitting the disease has been found in 17 states, but its range is expanding. This tick has not been found in Kansas, but has been found in western Missouri and northwestern Arkansas. The clinical signs are similar to those of anaplasmosis, but these signs can be seen in both calves and adults. Theileria treatment is much less effective.

For more information about the new test, contact Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Customer Service at [email protected] or 866-512-5650.

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