dvm - January 2013 - (Page 10)
NEWS | Medical update
Have you seen a higher positivity rate for Ehrlichia species? Tell us on Twitter @dvm360.
Risk of Ehrlichia species exposure on the rise
Improved detection conﬁrms signiﬁcant threat from lone star tick, supports need for year-round tick control in dogs and cats.
DEXX Laboratories recently reported that dogs in the south central and eastern regions of the country are being exposed to a greater number of ticks and tick-borne diseases than once thought, according to a company-issued press release. Researchers with IDEXX compared reference laboratory results conducted in 2011 with current results from one of its SNAP diagnostic tests—also run at the reference laboratory—and found that there was up to a fourfold increase in Ehrlichia species exposure this year. But is this the result of improved laboratory tests and better detection, or is the nation’s tick population growing and branching out into unchartered territory? It’s true that the company’s SNAP 4Dx Plus test, which screens for a number of common tick-borne pathogens, was recently upgraded to include antibody detection for Ehrlichia ewingii, but that’s only part of the story, says Susan Little, DVM, PhD, DEVPC, professor of veterinary parasitology at Oklahoma State University. “Tat test has a wider platform and is detecting an agent that we didn’t previously have serologic assays to detect,” she says. “But the vector tick that transmits Ehrlichia ewingii, the most common Ehrlichia species infecting dogs in the U.S., now has a broader geographic distribution, too.” Ehrlichia ewingii is transmitted by the lone
Ehrlichia disease trends
IDEXX Reference Laboratories location Baltimore, Md. Greensboro, N.C. Tampa, Fla. Totowa, N.J. Dallas, Texas Memphis, Tenn. St. Louis, Mo. April to June 2011 April to June 2012
0.56 1.5 0.45 1.0 0.40 0.75 1.3
Source: IDEXX Laboratories
No data available
% Ehrlichia species positivity rate
star tick, and dogs in the southern part of the U.S. have always been at risk for this type of Ehrlichiosis, due to the tick’s overwhelming presence in that region. But even that indigenous tick population is growing, says Little, and now the lone star tick is migrating north into much of the eastern twothirds of the country. “While many veterinarians in highly endemic areas are familiar with acute E. ewingii infections, we don’t know a lot about this pathogen because testing for it has been limited until now,” says Melissa Beall, DVM, PhD, manager of medical aﬀairs at IDEXX.
“IDEXX is excited to be able to help veterinarians screen for a pathogen that is becoming a larger threat in more parts of the country.” In order to keep that threat to a minimum, Little suggests that veterinarians follow the Companion Animal Parasite Council’s recommendations and urge clients to practice year-round tick control and prevention. “We need to be more adamant with clients,” Little says. For more information about tick control and prevention, visit capcvet.org.
10 | January 2013 |
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of dvm - January 2013
dvm - January 2013
Where did I go wrong?
Pets and Vets
CATalyst survey examines how veterinarians really feel about animal shelters and pet rescue organizations.
What’s new? What’s now?
Employee steals more than $400,000 from clinic
Longtime veterinarian killed in plane crash in California
Canadian SPCA concerned by number of “home neutering” reports
Arrest made in Minnesota veterinary hospital arson
Washington DVM accused of abusing patients, medications
When faced with disaster, practices need a plan
University of Minnesota celebrates 750,000th urolith
Death to debt
Letter of the law
dvm - January 2013