Objective: A lack of standardized surveillance or reporting of tick-borne diseases (TBDs) in Illinois creates uncertainty for veterinarians regarding TBDs occurring within their practice geography or which TBDs may be encroaching on their area from neighboring territories. Therefore, the objective of this study was to gauge the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of veterinary professionals in Southern and Central Illinois to establish a foundation for targeting educational and outreach programs that address knowledge gaps. Sample: 72 veterinary professionals in Central and Southern Illinois. Procedures: An online knowledge, attitudes, and practices survey was distributed to veterinary professionals in Southern and Central Illinois. Poisson regression analyses were conducted to determine factors associated with knowledge scores and the estimated number of TBD cases diagnosed. Results: Knowledge scores were significantly higher among veterinary practitioners with recent (within the last 5 years) training on TBD. The number of cases of TBD diagnosed was higher among those reporting concern about TBD, and among those who routinely test for TBDs. The types of diseases diagnosed were heavily influenced by the diagnostic method used. Clinical relevance: This study paints a cohesive picture of human factors associated with diagnosing veterinary diseases and TBD prevalence in Southern and Central Illinois. Our results highlight the importance and practical value of veterinary continuing education on ticks and TBDs for both companion animals and public health. Building capacity for training veterinarians in parasitology using partnerships between academia and industry may strengthen the knowledge and understanding of ticks and tick-borne pathogens in the veterinary community.
- Tick-borne diseases
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases