Stott, Jeffrey L. Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, California.
Last reviewed:June 2020
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- Economic impact
- Disease transmission
- Tick vector
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A tickborne bacterial disease of pregnant cattle, characterized by late-term abortion or birth of stillborn calves or weak calves that do not survive. Foothill abortion, also termed epizootic bovine abortion (EBA), is an economically devastating disease that has a limited geographical distribution, occurring in the foothill or mountainous regions of California, northern Nevada, and southern Oregon. The etiologic agent of foothill abortion is a bacterium, Pajaroellobacter abortibovis, which is carried by the Pajaroello tick (Ornithodoros coriaceus). Foothill abortion is believed to have existed in California since the 1920s, and it became recognized as a significant deterrent to maximum calf production in California in the early 1950s. In general, pregnant beef cattle that graze in the summer months for the first time on foothill and mountainous terrain are at the greatest risk, aborting fetuses late in gestation or giving birth to weak calves that succumb to the infection (Fig. 1). See also: Acari; Agricultural science (animal); Arachnida; Beef cattle production; Ixodides
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