Type

Journal Article

Authors

Jeremy S Gray
Micheal Casey
Denise Roche
Kevin Downing
June Fanning
Luke O'Grady
Guy McGrath
Annetta Zintl

Subjects

Veterinary

Topics
farm survey protective immunity babesia divergens tick borne parasite incidence disease risk national herd ireland climate change questionnaire survey mortality rates redwater fever

Changing incidence of bovine babesiosis in Ireland. (2014)

Abstract In Ireland bovine babesiosis is caused by the tick-borne blood parasite, Babesia divergens. A survey of veterinary practitioners and farmers in the 1980's revealed an annual incidence of 1.7% associated with considerable economic losses. However, two subsequent surveys in the 1990's indicated a decline in clinical babesiosis. Recent evidence from continental Europe suggests that, probably due to climate change, the distribution of the tick vector of B. divergens, Ixodes ricinus is extending to more northerly regions and higher altitudes. In addition, milder winters are thought to widen the window of tick activity. In order to determine whether any such changes have affected the incidence of bovine babesiosis in Ireland, a questionnaire survey of farmers and veterinarians was carried out and compared with data from previous surveys. Our survey indicates that while the incidence of clinical disease has continued to decline, cases can occur at any time of year. In contrast to previous surveys, affected farms were the same size as unaffected ones. There was no correlation between disease risk and the presence of deer on the land. Disease severity and mortality rates were increased because many infections were advanced by the time they were detected and treated. While the precise reasons for the decline in the incidence of redwater are unknown, changes in agricultural practice are likely to be of importance. A reversal of the trend could be devastating, as vigilance among farmers and veterinarians is flagging and the national herd is losing its protective immunity to disease.
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Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis (CVERA)
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Ireland -> University College Dublin -> College of Health and Agricultural Sciences
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Biology & Environmental Science
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> College of Science
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Veterinary Medicine Research Collection
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Biology & Environmental Science
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Biology & Environmental Science Research Collection
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Institutes and Centres

Full list of authors on original publication

Jeremy S Gray, Micheal Casey, Denise Roche, Kevin Downing, June Fanning, Luke O'Grady, Guy McGrath, Annetta Zintl

Experts in our system

1
J S Gray
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 45
 
2
Micheal Casey
Teagasc
Total Publications: 5
 
3
June Fanning
Teagasc
Total Publications: 4
 
4
Luke O'Grady
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 54
 
5
Guy McGrath
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 52
 
6
Annetta Zintl
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 36