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  • >> Welcome and thank you for standing by.

  • At this time, all participant lines are

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  • Now, I would like to turn the call over to your host

  • for today, Ms. Ria Ghai.

  • Ms. Ghai, you may begin.

  • >> Thanks so much, Brad.

  • Good afternoon everyone.

  • My name's Ria Ghai, and I work at the One Health office

  • of the National Center of Emerging

  • and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the Center

  • for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • On behalf of the One Health office,

  • I'm pleased to welcome you to the monthly Zoonoses

  • and One Health Update call for today, February 5th, 2020.

  • ZOHU calls content is directed to epidemiologists,

  • laboratorians, scientists, physicians, nurses,

  • veterinarians, animal health officials

  • and other public health professionals at the federal,

  • state and local levels.

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  • CDC did not accept commercial support for this activity.

  • CDC, our planners, presenters and their spouses

  • or partners disclosed that they have no financial interests

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  • of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services

  • or commercial supporters.

  • Before we begin today's presentation, Colin Basler,

  • a veterinarian epidemiologist with CDC's National Center

  • for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases will share

  • some news and updates.

  • Colin, please go ahead.

  • >> Thanks, Ria.

  • Hi everyone.

  • Thanks for joining us for today's ZOHU call,

  • and welcome to our new participants.

  • The ZOHU call audience continues to grow

  • with subscribers representing professionals from government,

  • nongovernment organizations, industry

  • and academia, including students.

  • We appreciate your help spreading the word

  • about the ZOHU call.

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  • with your colleagues from human, animal, environment

  • and other relevant sectors.

  • The site includes links to past call recordings,

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  • to the ZOHU call email list.

  • To begin today's call, I'd like to share some highlights

  • from the One Health News from CDC included

  • in today's ZOHU call email newsletter.

  • CDC's latest antibiotic resistance investments map is

  • now available.

  • And the United Nations has declared 2020 the international

  • year of plant health.

  • Some upcoming conferences include two here in Atlanta.

  • The 2020 Inform Conference will be from March 9th

  • through the 12th, and the 2020 Epidemic Intelligence Service

  • (EIS) Conference will be from May 4th through 7th.

  • Applications are being accepted

  • for the David J. Sencer Scholarship

  • to attend the EIS conference.

  • We've shared links to recent publications

  • on several topics including: pool code updates and use

  • of the model aquatic health code in the local jurisdictions;

  • rabies outbreak in captive big brown bats used

  • in white-nose syndrome vaccine trials; and the AVMA guidelines

  • for the euthanasia of animals, the 2020 edition,

  • has just been published.

  • Recent publications in the Morbidity

  • and Mortality Weekly Report

  • of interest include Candida auris isolates resistant

  • to three classes of antifungal medications, New York, 2019.

  • Notes from the field about the 2019 multistate outbreak

  • of Eastern equine encephalitis virus.

  • And a third publication

  • that just went live a few minutes ago,

  • the MMWR on the initial public health response

  • and interim guidance for the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak,

  • United States, December 31st, 2019 to February 4th, 2020.

  • Regarding outbreaks, CDC is closely monitoring an outbreak

  • of respiratory illness called

  • by a novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan,

  • Hubei Province, China.

  • Please see CDC's website for more information,

  • travel recommendations and resources.

  • A new outbreak of salmonella infections list

  • to small pet turtles has been posted.

  • And updates for outbreaks of E. coli infections linked

  • to romaine lettuce and Fresh Express Sunflower Crips Chopped

  • Salad Kits have also been posted.

  • A selected list of ongoing and past U.S. outbreaks

  • of zoonotic diseases, as well as information on staying safe

  • and healthy around animals, is available on CDC's healthy pets,

  • healthy people website.

  • The complete CDC current outbreak list,

  • including foodborne outbreaks is available at CDC.gov/outbreaks.

  • As always, if you would like for us to share news

  • from your organization or if you want

  • to suggest presentation topics or volunteer to present,

  • please contact us at ZOHUcall@CDC.gov.

  • Again, thank you for supporting the ZOHU call

  • and for joining us today.

  • We've got an exciting lineup of speakers and topics,

  • and I'll now turn the call back over to Ria.

  • >> Thanks so much, Colin.

  • Today's presentations will address one or more

  • of the following objectives.

  • Describe two key points from each presentation.

  • To describe how a multisectoral One Health approach can be

  • applied to the presentation topics.

  • To identify an implication for animal and human health.

  • To identify a One Health approach strategy

  • for prevention, detection or response

  • to public health threats.

  • Or finally, to identify two new resources from CDC partners.

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  • Please name the presenter or topic

  • at the beginning of each question.

  • You'll find resources and links for all presentations

  • on our website an in today's ZOHU call email.

  • I'm now excited to announce our first presentation

  • which is called Ticks, Tortoises and Tick-borne Relapsing Fever

  • in the Mojave Desert which will be given by Molly June Bechtel.

  • Molly, please go ahead and begin when you're ready.

  • >> Thank you.

  • So, today I'm going to talk

  • about a very understudied relationship between a vector

  • and its host, the desert tortoise, in the Mojave Desert.

  • I'm going to start by giving some background

  • on the Mojave Desert tortoise.

  • The Mojave Desert tortoises are keystone species.

  • They create a lot of habitat with their burrows for a myriad

  • of species from rodents to birds to even insects.

  • Unfortunately, their populations have been declining

  • since the 80s, and they were listed as threatened

  • by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services in 1990.

  • Tortoise populations are monitored because in order

  • to keep tabs on the populations, per government regulation,

  • and we look for things like clinical signs of disease

  • as well as other morphometrics just like size

  • of the tortoise and weight.

  • Ticks are also often noted

  • on these tortoise health assessments.

  • In fact, ticks are known

  • to commonly parasitize desert tortoises,

  • and the two species we know

  • that do commonly parasitize tortoises are ornithodoros

  • parkeri and ornithodoros turicatae.

  • They're often called tortoise ticks,

  • especially in the tortoise literature.

  • Mostly because they're difficult to identify.

  • You have to count the number of bumps on the back,

  • on their backs to be able

  • to distinguish the two species apart.

  • Or they're also just listed as ornithodoros species

  • when they're found on tortoises.

  • So, these are soft ticks,

  • and their biology is a little bit different than hard ticks.

  • They are nidicolous, meaning that they like to be

  • in dark burrows and dark places.

  • Tortoises really create excellent habitat

  • for these guys and their burrows.

  • They're generalists, which means they're not specific

  • to one particular species for the blood meal.

  • They'll feed on anything, any animal that comes their way.

  • And they commonly parasitize other tortoises.

  • They're also vectors of the causative agent

  • of tick-borne relapsing fever.

  • Tick-borne relapsing fever is caused by a wide variety

  • of species in the genus Borrelia.

  • It's a familiar genus because Lyme disease is also caused

  • by a species of Borrelia.

  • But I'm going to be focusing on the relapsing fever Borrelia

  • that occur in the new world.

  • And you can see the new world clade include three species

  • of Borrelia, two of which are specialized

  • with their tick factor, ornithodoros parkeri

  • and ornithodoros turicatae, that occur in the Mojave Desert

  • and parasitize desert tortoises.

  • Both species of Borrelia cause tick-borne relapsing fever

  • or TBRF in people.

  • TBRF is characterized by high fever,

  • around 103 to 105 degrees.

  • Headache, muscle and joint aches, symptoms very similar

  • to the flu, except these symptoms will reoccur.

  • So usually with a fever and other symptoms lasting

  • for about three days followed

  • by a febrile period for about a week.

  • And then those symptoms will return for another three days.

  • This cycle can occur several times without treatment.

  • Sometimes symptoms will resolve on their own, but it's treated

  • with antibiotics like doxycycline.

  • And this could also occur and passed if they get bit

  • by a tick carrying relapsing fever group Borrelia,

  • which is dogs.

  • These relapses are due to the ability of a Borrelia

  • to undergo multiple cyclic anagenic variations.

  • So, what happens is Borrelia invades our antibodies

  • by switching the surface proteins they express

  • and become unrecognizable to the immune system.

  • These relapses can make TBRF difficult to diagnose, but also,

  • people will go into the doctor, complain of symptoms

  • that are very similar to the flu,

  • and they'll be prescribed antibiotics and get better.

  • And then they're never tested for TBRF.

  • So, it's thought that TBRF is underreported.

  • Regardless, ticks are common in desert tortoise habitat

  • and do come in contact with people, which suggests

  • that they are a transmission risk.

  • But very little is known about the ticks in the Mojave,

  • and even less is known about the relationship

  • to their host, the desert tortoise.

  • We do know, though, that about 10%

  • of wild desert tortoises are sampled are parasitized

  • by ticks, and almost half

  • of all active tortoise burrows are invested,

  • particular with ornithodoros parkeri.

  • So, we also know that tortoises create habitats for rodents,

  • which are documented as reservoirs

  • of TBRF Borrelia group in other parts of the country.

  • So tortoises may not even be a part