Open Access Meeting report

One Health approach to identify research needs in bovine and human babesioses: workshop report

Adalberto A Pérez de León1*, Daniel A Strickman2, Donald P Knowles3, Durland Fish4, Eileen Thacker2, José de la Fuente56*, Peter J Krause7, Stephen K Wikel8, Ryan S Miller9, Gale G Wagner10, Consuelo Almazán11, Robert Hillman12, Matthew T Messenger13, Paul O Ugstad14, Roberta A Duhaime15, Pete D Teel16, Alfonso Ortega-Santos17, David G Hewitt17, Edwin J Bowers18, Stephen J Bent7, Matt H Cochran12, Terry F McElwain1920, Glen A Scoles21, Carlos E Suarez1920, Ronald Davey1, Jeanne M Howell Freeman1, Kimberly Lohmeyer1, Andrew Y Li1, Felix D Guerrero1, Diane M Kammlah1, Pamela Phillips1, Joe M Pound1 and the Group for Emerging Babesioses and One Health Research and Development in the U.S.

Author Affiliations

1 Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Kerrville, TX, USA

2 National Program, Animal Production and Protection, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD, USA

3 Animal Disease Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture/Agriculture Research Service, Pullman, WA 99164-7030, USA

4 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA

5 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA

6 Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13005 Ciudad Real, Spain

7 Division of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT 06520-8034, USA

8 Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555, USA

9 USDA-APHIS, 2150 Centre Ave, Bldg. B-2W4, Fort Collins, Colorado 80526, USA

10 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University Drive and Agronomy Road, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA

11 Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, Km. 5 carretera Victoria-Mante, CP 87000 Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico

12 Texas Animal Health Commission, Austin, TX 78758-4013, USA

13 Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program, USDA-APHIS-VS, Riverdale, MD 20737, USA

14 USDA-APHIS-VS, Thornberry Bldg., Rm. 220 903 San Jacinto Blvd. Austin, TX 78701, USA

15 Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program, USDA-APHIS-VS, San Juan, TX 78589, USA

16 Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843, USA

17 Animal & Wildlife Sciences, Texas A&M University, 700 University Blvd., Kingsville, Texas 78363, USA

18 Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program, USDA-APHIS-VS, Laredo, TX 78040, USA

19 Animal Disease Research Unit, Agricultural Research Service, United State Department of Agriculture, Pullman, WA 99164-6630, USA

20 Program in Vector-Borne Diseases, Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-7040, USA

21 Animal Diseases Research Unit, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Pullman, Washington 99164, USA

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Parasites & Vectors 2010, 3:36  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-3-36

Published: 8 April 2010

Abstract

Background

Babesia are emerging health threats to humans and animals in the United States. A collaborative effort of multiple disciplines to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment, otherwise known as the One Health concept, was taken during a research workshop held in April 2009 to identify gaps in scientific knowledge regarding babesioses. The impetus for this analysis was the increased risk for outbreaks of bovine babesiosis, also known as Texas cattle fever, associated with the re-infestation of the U.S. by cattle fever ticks.

Results

The involvement of wildlife in the ecology of cattle fever ticks jeopardizes the ability of state and federal agencies to keep the national herd free of Texas cattle fever. Similarly, there has been a progressive increase in the number of cases of human babesiosis over the past 25 years due to an increase in the white-tailed deer population. Human babesiosis due to cattle-associated Babesia divergens and Babesia divergens-like organisms have begun to appear in residents of the United States. Research needs for human and bovine babesioses were identified and are presented herein.

Conclusions

The translation of this research is expected to provide veterinary and public health systems with the tools to mitigate the impact of bovine and human babesioses. However, economic, political, and social commitments are urgently required, including increased national funding for animal and human Babesia research, to prevent the re-establishment of cattle fever ticks and the increasing problem of human babesiosis in the United States.