2nd T & TBDs WG meeting

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Tue, 06/07/2011 - 14:15 - Thu, 06/09/2011 - 14:15
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines



TBT surveillance activities

1/ The group agreed on the development of guidelines describing how to manage outbreak/new focus of TBT or dermatophilosis in a naïve areas.

2/ The group will work on an improved sharing of results of the surveillance with former CAP countries. A harmonized output form for surveillance and control activities will be developed and provided to the group.

3/ Each member uses the table presented by R. Pegram to list information which are essential prerequisites for success.

4/ Highly infested islands (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Antigua):

-        Will all develop or refine written surveillance protocols for TBT infestation and/or transmitted/associated diseases within the subgroup.

-        If necessary meetings will be organized to write these protocols for Martinique and Antigua.

-        Guillaume Gerbier proposed to translate the RESPANG protocol to share it with Antigua.

-        Guadeloupe will consider adding general objectives related to control in the existing RESPANG (surveillance network of nervous symptoms and heartwater settled in 20010) surveillance protocol.

5/ Lowly to moderately infested islands and surveillance protocols

-        Countries who volunteer to review their surveillance protocols with the external point of view of the group on given sections or on the whole protocol, are welcome to do so. The group welcomed the initiative of St. Lucia to share his protocol with the group. In this case, comments can be sent by mail and reviewed during working group meetings. The group will also gather non infected islands (Cuba, USVI) which wish to develop surveillance protocols

-        General protocol to be then adapted to each country will be written by all the members of the group (Kathian Hackshaw, SVG agreed to coordinate this work)

a)     All written protocols will be shared within the group (Bethany agreed gathering the documents).

b)     This work will be conducted with possible help from the Epigroup (Kathian will ensure the link with the Epigroup).

c)     To facilitate the process, the work will start with writing the following parts of the surveillance protocol: Constraints, Objectives, Surveillance strategy, Result indicators and work out on some tricky issues like how to get farmers involved in the treatment, etc.

6/ Socio-economic study

-        The group recognized that all farmers were probably sensitized on TBT, but that what they actually do with that information remains unclear, highlighting the need of sociology studies to improve understanding.

-        The group will start by sharing the initiatives relative to sociology and to the understanding of the constraints for treatment

  • Nevis, Marie-Galante, Martinique agreed to provide the group with a description of their respective initiatives
  • Jennifer proposed to translate and circulate the methodology used and main results evidences in Marie-Galante in 2010 by the student in sociology.

-        Each country will seek for an in-country sociologist able to develop such studies.

  • The subject and guidelines of the study needs will be written (1 page) and shared within the group (Jennifer).
  • UWI will be requested to help designing the studies; Thierry will contact A.A. Adesiyun (Director of the Veterinary school in UWI).
  • CaribVET will help setting up the study and identifying funding if necessary.

-        Results of such studies will help the group to work on the following question: how to get the farmers involved and sensitized that they need to do something since they are the main actors.

-        The assessment of cost-benefit at the farm level should be conducted in order to demonstrate, for instance, in Antigua, the advantage of certified good practices (better value for meat).

7/ Treatment against ticks

-        Alternative molecules to flumethrin (Bayticol), like doramectine which is used in USVI and seems to be efficient in controlling TBT in the infested farms and new strategies will be explored.

-        In order to decrease the cost/efficiency ratio and save money, it is recommended to target the treatments:

i) Season: control during season of higher infestation

ii) Animal: target cattle preferentially

iii) Only when ticks or dermatophilosis is observed

8/ Detection and characterization of Erhlichia ruminantium and of Amblyomma variegatum

-        Detection of E. ruminantium

  • Though the presence of heartwater has only been documented in Guadeloupe and Antigua, the group agreed that any clinical suspicions of heartwater in the Caribbean should lead to diagnosis.
  • In case of heartwater suspicion: collect blood samples (3 vol. of whole blood mix /1 vol. of Ethanol 70% prepared from Ethanol 100% and distilled water). These samples preserved in the fridge should be sent to CIRAD Guadeloupe for molecular diagnostic. CIRAD will cover the cost of the analysis, only for clinical suspicions (not for importation purposes).

-        Characterization of A. variegatum strain

  • Any TBT specimen collected and preserved in Ethanol 70% can be sent to CIRAD for genetic characterization (method of genetic diversity under development). The objective is to link the different tick populations found in the Caribbean. This would provide information on the origin of the tick (introduction or resurgence of tick population).
  • CIRAD advice to send ticks together with a form filled with information related to the location of the tick, husbandry practice, tick treatment…. (the form will be provided by CIRAD in July 2011)

9/ Interaction research-surveillance on TBT

-        The group acknowledged the relevance for the region of research activities conducted in the region on ticks biology, in particular:

  • TBT population dynamics modeling to test surveillance and control strategies and help, along with field observations, to define most cost efficient targeted surveillance;
  • The development of molecular tools (microsatellites) to study genetic diversity at regional scale, which will enable to identify the origin of ticks in newly identified focus;
  • The Ehrlichia ruminantium diversity study and vaccine development




Boophilus sp. and transmitted-diseases

1/ Exploration of Boophilus resistance to acaricides (flumethrin, amitraz)

-        The group agreed to develop guidelines to prevent the development of Boophilus resistance (alternate molecules, protocol, husbandry management, …).

-        The group will investigate the use of Gavac® anti-tick vaccine in combination with acaricide treatment to reduce the quantity of acaricides used (Belkis Corona proposed to find and share information on Gavac®).

-        The group will explore other molecules (doramectine, coumaphos), formulation and treatment protocols to use in the case of co-infestation by Amblyomma variegatum and Boophilus microplus.The group will then release guidelines to countries concerned by this constraint.

-        As regards a total giving up of flumetrin (Bayticol®) for amitraz (Taktic®, Triatix©) with the objective of TBT control (and not eradication anymore), the group highlighted the risk of TBT recrudescence.

-        The group recognized the need to assess the effect of long-term treatment by Bayticol on Boophilus transmitted diseases.

-        Joe Corn and Rupert Pegram agreed to share results, documents, papers related to ticks resistance to acaricides.

-        Thierry Lefrançois will check for the possibility of setting up in Guadeloupe experimental demonstration for this resistance. As member of the laboratory working group, he will make the connection with the CaribVET Laboratory, Quality Assurance and Diagnostic working group, to identify other laboratories which could conduct similar acaricides resistance tests.


2/ Boophilus transmitted diseases diagnostic and prevalence

-        The group will ask through the Steering diffusion list other countries/territories members of CaribVET what their needs related to anaplasmosis and babesiosis are, and if these diseases represent an issue.  To collect clear information, the group will build a small and concise questionnaire requesting the following information:  

  • Do you have anaplasmosis; babesiosis. Do you consider anaplasmosis (babesiosis) is an important issue in your country.
  • What are your needs in terms of surveillance.
  • What are the research needs.


-        A regards the needs for diagnostic, the group thought it was relevant to:

  • Improve the microscopic examination in the countries for protozoan and bacteria evidence in blood smears
  • Facilitate samples submission to regional laboratory (CIRAD Guadeloupe)

-        In order to better assess the relative importance of these two diseases in the Caribbean, the group recommended that clinical suspicions of tick-transmitted diseases should lead to the collection of blood samples (3 vol. of whole blood mix /1 vol. of Ethanol 70% prepared from Ethanol 100% and distilled water). These samples preserved in the fridge will be sent to CIRAD Guadeloupe for molecular diagnostic (anaplasmosis and babesiosis). CIRAD will cover the cost of the analysis only for clinical suspicions (not for importation purposes).


3/ Guidelines for cattle breed management and import protocols to prevent clinical cases

-        In case of persistent Boophilus infestation, the group recommended to:

  • Vacate pasture and to develop protocol for animals release in the pasture;
  • Explore the role of contaminated fomites and biting flies in anaplamosis transmission.

-        Georges Joseph proposed to be responsible for writing a draft import protocol and to gather and share existing documents and procedures (St Lucia and Martinique).


4/ Link research - Surveillance

-        The group agreed to use and adapt the tools for genetic characterization which were developed by CIRAD for Ehrlichia ruminantium diversity (MLST[1] and VNTR[2]) for the diversity study of Anaplasma sp. through collaboration of CENSA, Cuba with CIRAD Guadeloupe.

[1] MLST: Multi Locus Sequence Typing

[2] VNTR : Variable Number Tandem Repeat

Oona Edwards (Antigua, CVO)
Belkis Corona (CENSA, Cuba)
Lennox St Aimee (Dominica, VO)
Guillaume Gerbier (Guadeloupe, veterinary services)
Philippe Pelonde (Martinique, director of farmer association)
Patricia Bartlette (Nevis, CVO)
Bethany Bradford (USVI, CVO)
Georges Joseph (St Lucia, CVO)
Kathian Hackshaw (SVG, CVO)
Jennifer Pradel(Cirad Guadeloupe)
Joe Corn (USA)
Rupert Pegram (Antigua, tick expert)
Thierry Lefrançois (Cirad Guadeloupe)


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