– The West Virginia
Department of Agriculture (WVDA) has confirmed the presence of Theileria
orientalis Ikeda genotype in three West Virginia counties. The WVDA is
working with the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine’s
diagnostic laboratory at Virginia Tech to determine the extent of the
disease across the region and understand its impact on the livestock
industry. Additional surveillance samples are being collected throughout
Theileria is a
protozoan parasite transmitted to susceptible animals in the saliva of
ticks or by direct blood transmission. Clinical signs can include anemia,
fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, exercise intolerance and fetus abortion.
Multiple species of Theileria are found worldwide, but the Theileria
orientalis genotype Ikeda are known to infect cattle, water buffalo and
yaks. Other Theileria species are known to infect livestock such as sheep,
goats, deer and camels.
“If Theileria infection is
suspected, or livestock losses include signs of anemia, it should be
reported to a local veterinarian immediately,” said Commissioner of
Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “We strongly suggest that folks implement good
biosecurity procedures, including standard tick control measures and not
sharing farm medical instruments such as OB sleeves. Tattooing and other
shared devices should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before use on
discovered Asian Longhorned Tick is a known carrier of Theileria. The
WVDA is encouraging cattle producers to reduce tick exposure or tick
populations on their farms, as there are no approved treatments for Theileria
orientalis in the United States. This disease represents no known
threat to human health.
specializing in large animals can provide assessments and herd health plans
to livestock producers, as well as prescribe preventive measures to
decrease livestock diseases and associated losses,” said State Veterinarian
Dr. James Maxwell. “Thus far, testing has identified only Theileria
orientalis. Additional testing will help to determine whether other
species and genotypes are present in West Virginia.”
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and the Virginia
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are collaborating to
monitor the disease in the region. As counties are identified positive for
the disease, a corresponding map will be shared and subsequently updated. Theileria
orientalis Ikeda genotype has been found in 28 Virginia counties.
information or to report any suspected clinical cases, contact the WVDA
Animal Health offices at 304-558-2214.