Anaplasma spp. Forecast 2020
The CAPC Prevalence and Forecast Maps represent exposure to both Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Anaplasma platys. The two pathogens are transmitted by different tick vectors (Ixodes spp. and Rhipicephalus sanguineus, respectively) with different geographical ranges. However, the overlap in ranges prevents distinction between the two on the CAPC Prevalence and Forecast Maps. Prevention is mostly the same and requires limiting exposure to tick habitats, routine use of acaricides, and regular tick checks of pets.
- Throughout much of the contiguous United States the seroprevalence of Anaplasma spp. in dogs is remaining the same compared to the previous eight years.
- The seroprevalence of Anaplasma spp. in dogs is expected to be higher than average throughout the New England states. The rise in exposure to Anaplasma spp. has been also seen in humans with an increase in anaplasmosis cases being reported in Maine (1).
- The biggest area of increase for dogs is expected to be northeastern Pennsylvania. Veterinarians throughout this region should reinforce the recommendations to their clients on the regular use of tick preventatives throughout the year and encourage owners to check their dogs for ticks and remove them promptly.
- Focal areas of higher than average seroprevalence are expected in eastern Virginia and northern California. These areas and much of the surrounding regions have historically had a low risk of exposure, so veterinarians and clients should be particularly vigilant in light of these predicted changes.
- Similar to the previous year, a lower than average seroprevalence is expected in eastern Massachusetts, as well as southeastern New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and eastern Connecticut.
- Much of Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota are also expected to have a lower than average risk this year, but most of northern Minnesota is expected to have a higher than average risk. This is great example of why it is important to talk to clients about their travel plans throughout the year and make the appropriate preventative care recommendations.
- 1. Elias SP, Bonthius J, Robinson S, Robich RM, Lubelczyk CB, Smith Jr RP. Surge in Anaplasmosis Cases in Maine, USA, 2013–2017. Emerging infectious diseases. 2020 Feb;26(2):327.
Year-round protection, annual testing
The best way to protect your patients is to advise owners of the importance of year-round prevention, even during the winter months. You can use the CAPC Parasite Prevalence Maps to support your recommendation by underscoring the risks in your area and in regions of the country your clients may travel with their pets. It is also critical to emphasize the importance of compliance and using products according to label. The use of CAPC Parasite Prevalence maps and Forecast maps are a validated tool for increasing client willingness to engage in parasite prevention. Sign up for local alerts today by visiting the CAPC Parasite Prevalence Maps and selecting "Get Updates".
Veterinary professionals and pet owners who want to monitor the activity in their county throughout the year, can also access 30-Day Parasite Forecast Maps at www.petdiseasealerts.org. These maps, developed exclusively by CAPC, provide a local forecast for every county in the continental United States on a monthly basis.
The Science behind the Forecasts
Vector-borne disease is dynamic and ever changing, driven by multiple factors that affect the development of arthropod vectors and the pathogens they carry. Leading parasitologists work in collaboration with a team of statisticians to identify regions of the country that may experience higher parasite incidence in the months ahead. Numerous factors are analyzed, including the number of positive tests and the influence of weather patterns, vegetation indices, and human population density. Using this multi-disciplinary approach, we are leveraging everyone’s expertise to focus on a single common interest: forecasting the risk of exposure to vector-borne pathogens. While these forecasts predict the potential risk of a dog testing positive, they do not necessarily reflect the occurrence of clinical disease.
To learn more about the science behind the maps, full access to our manuscripts describing the methodology and fidelity of our forecasts can be found here.