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Vet Parasitol. 2006 Sep 10;140(3-4):327-33. Epub 2006 May 2.

The geographic distribution of the putative agent of epizootic bovine abortion in the tick vector, Ornithodoros coriaceus.

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Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Epizootic bovine abortion (EBA), also known as "foothill abortion", is a vector borne disease of beef cattle that graze in the mountainous regions of California, southern Oregon and western Nevada transmitted by the argasid tick Ornithodoros coriaceus. Recently, the putative agent of EBA was identified as a novel Deltaproteobacter in the order Myxococcales. In this study, a TaqMan real-time PCR (TM-PCR) protocol specific to the putative EBA agent was developed. The new real-time TM-PCR assay functioned sensitively and specifically to detect pathogen DNA in field-collected O. coriaceus ticks. The assay had an analytical sensitivity of a single plasmid copy and, when evaluated with a collection of tick-borne pathogens, yielded a positive PCR-result only for the agent of EBA. Use of the TM-PCR represents an effective tool for rapid and highly sensitive assessment of environmental risk and spatial and statistical analysis to highlight areas where there may be increased risk for EBA in susceptible cattle.

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