Small Animal

WVC 90th Annual Conference

(IS5) Lone Star Tick: Risk to Dogs

Tuesday, March 6
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
MBCC, Mandalay Bay D, Level 2

CE Credits: 1

Sponsored By: 

Leading experts in human allergy, parasitology and entomology discuss the Lone Star tick, its geographic spread and the zoonotic diseases it can transmit. Panelists are: Scott P. Commins, MD, PhD, an allergist at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Brian Herrin DVM, PhD, DACVM (Parasitology), Assistant Professor at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine; and Thomas Mather, PhD, professor of entomology and director of the Tick Encounter Resource Center at the University of Rhode Island.

Scott P. Commins

Dr. Scott P. Commins completed his undergraduate degree (B.S.) at Wake Forest University in 1996. He subsequently began training in the Medical Scientist Training Program at the Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, SC), earning MD and PhD degrees in 2004. His PhD work was supervised by Dr. Thomas W. Gettys and focused on the role of leptin and uncoupling proteins in obesity. In 2007, Dr. Commins completed an Internal Medicine residency at The University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA), where he remained to complete a fellowship in Allergy and Clinical Immunology under the direction of Dr. Thomas Platts-Mills. After 6 years as a faculty member in the Allergy / Immunology Division at UVa, Dr. Commins moved to The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill in 2015.
Currently, Dr. Commins is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at UNC where he maintains an active research laboratory and clinical practice. Dr. Commins is a member of the UNC Food Allergy Initiative and the focus of his research is a carbohydrate, alpha-gal, which he and colleagues described as a novel food allergen in red meat in 2009. Since that time, he has published evidence relating the development of the red meat allergy to tick bites. Awareness of this allergy continues to increase with patients described throughout Europe, in Scandinavia, Central America, Australia and Asia. The significance of investigating these reactions comes not only from the obvious importance of understanding a novel, life-threatening form of food allergy but also in defining a totally new mechanism for sensitization and reactions related to an important food substance.


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Brian Herrin

Dr. Herrin is originally from Lindsay, OK. He received his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Oklahoma State University, and he stayed there for his veterinary degree. After a year of veterinary curriculum, he converted to a dual DVM/PhD under the mentorship of Dr. Susan Little. His dissertation work was on the geographic distribution of Lyme borreliosis in North America. While his current research continues to focus on Lyme borreliosis in humans and dogs, looking specifically at the epidemiology and diagnostic assay performance, he is always looking for new and interesting projects on ticks or tick-borne diseases.


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Thomas Mather

Professor & Director
Center for Vector-Borne Disease & TickEncounter Resource Center

Often referred to as the TickGuy, Dr. Mather is professor of public health entomology and zoonotic diseases at the University of Rhode Island. He is director of URI’s Center for Vector-Borne Disease and its TickEncounter Resource Center. His research interests include the ecology of blood-sucking arthropods and the dynamics of tick-transmitted diseases. He has raised more than $16 million to support tick-borne disease research and outreach, published over 110 papers on the subject, edited one book and holds 4 U.S. Patents and 2 U.S. TradeMarks. For the past dozen years, a major focus of his laboratory has been developing a genes-to-vaccines strategy that’s stimulated by tick feeding and delivers broad-spectrum protection against tick-borne disease germs. More recently, his team is aggressively developing on-line and new media platforms for health promotion programs to increase tick literacy and prevent tick-borne diseases.


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(IS5) Lone Star Tick: Risk to Dogs

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