What is Theileriosis?
Theileriosis is a disease usually recognised as anaemia, caused by a species of Theileria (blood-borne parasites). Transmission is by a secondary host, a tick. In New Zealand, this is the cattle tick Haemaphysalis longicornis.
The spread of Theileria orientalis Ikeda
In 2012, strain typing by the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Animal Health Laboratory first identified Theileria orientalis Ikeda, a strain not previously known in New Zealand. This article describes its spread in New Zealand from the first confirmed diagnosis.
Tick biology drives infestation
Only one tick affects livestock in New Zealand and this is the New Zealand cattle tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis. The tick has been recorded in Northland, Auckland, much of the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Taranaki.
Managing Theileriosis on-farm
Overall, the rate of severe Theileria clinical cases has been low (1-2% of the herd). However, a small number of herds have experienced a far greater incidence of the disease and animal losses of up to 15%.
Managing the disease - what next?
Ikeda Theileriosis will have future cycles of disease affecting New Zealand cattle, with the impact and severity lessening over time.
What does measuring mRNA tell us?
We can extract the mRNA from different tissues (udder, liver, fat, uterus) and then use a variety of techniques to find out what is going on at a molecular (or gene) level.
Focus on international research
Brief summaries of key international science papers recently published.