July 15, 2022
Theileria orientalis disease found in cattle in Middle Tennessee, US
The state veterinarian of Tennessee, the United States, has announced the detection of Theileria orientalis in a herd of cattle in Middle Tennessee.
Theileria is a tickborne parasite that infects red and white blood cells and causes severe anemia in cattle. There is no vaccine to prevent the illness or effective treatment. Once an animal is infected, it is a carrier for life.
The affected herd in Maury County showed signs of illness and lethargy, and despite veterinary attention and antibiotic treatments, some animals eventually died.
Theileria is not a threat to human health. Humans cannot become sick from contact with affected cattle, and consuming meat from affected cattle is safe provided that the meat has been cooked to an appropriate temperature.
"The Asian longhorned tick (ALT) is a common vector for this illness," state veterinarian Dr. Samantha Beaty said. "Although we have not yet confirmed the presence of ALT in Maury County, we know it's already taken hold in several other Tennessee counties and will continue to spread. Cattle producers should take steps to protect their herds."
Producers can minimise risk by keeping cattle out of wooded areas and keeping pastures mowed short, particularly pastures that border woods. Producers should also regularly inspect cattle for ticks, use varying types of acaricides (ear tags, pours, back rubbers, etc.), use a clean needle for every injection and notify a veterinarian if cattle show signs of lethargy or illness.
- The Tullahoma News