The invasive Asian Longhorned Tick (ALHT) was discovered in the eastern United States in 2017 and was recently reported in Ohio. With ALHT comes the concern of transmission of a pathogenic strain of non-native Theileria orientalis, a cause of bovine theileriosis. This pathogenic strain has already been identified as far west as West Virginia and shares its geographic range with Anaplasma marginale, the cause of endemic anaplasmosis in cattle. Symptoms of theileriosis are clinically identical to those of anaplasmosis, and differentiation is only viable using diagnostic testing methods.
A new real-time PCR assay is now available at ADDL that simultaneously tests for T. orientalis and A. marginale in bovine samples. The test is performed Monday through Friday, and has a 2-5 day turnaround time. Accepted samples include EDTA blood tubes and spleen tissue.
Immediately report large numbers of ticks on livestock to the Division of Animal Health at 614-728-6220.
Additional ALHT resources are available by contacting the OSU Parasite and Pathogen Ecology (PPE) laboratory and visiting the Animal Health AHLT Resource Page. Questions related to animal testing may be addressed by contacting the ADDL at 614-728-6220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caitlyn Lewis and Rachel Brown, Molecular Laboratory Interns
Reid Neinast, B.S., Molecular Laboratory Scientist