Morris Animal Foundation Awards $940,000 For New Studies Benefiting Horse And Alpaca Health

Morris Animal Foundation, a leader in advancing animal health, has awarded grants totaling $940,000 to 12 research projects in horse and alpaca health. The studies will help veterinary scientists improve the well-being of these large animals through improved prevention and treatment of numerous health challenges, including equine herpesvirus, strangles and fungal infection.

“Each of these studies has the potential to improve the lives of horses in significant ways, and we are very proud to support these innovative researchers in their efforts,” said Dr. Janet Patterson-Kane, Morris Animal Foundation Chief Scientific Officer. “Our equine and alpaca companions deserve the healthiest lives we can give them.”

Through this year’s grants, the Foundation is supporting researchers at 10 universities, including Texas A&M University, Washington State University and North Carolina State University. The Foundation’s Large Animal Scientific Advisory Board reviewed all submitted grant applications and selected, based on scientific merit and impact, the studies with the greatest potential to save lives, preserve health and advance veterinary medicine. Large animal studies funded for 2019 include:

  • Understanding the Early Stages of Equine Herpesvirus Infections
    Researchers will study EHV-1 to better understand how the disease develops and spreads. New information from this study will help inform the development of better diagnostics and treatments as well as improve EHV-1 control measures.
  • Exploring a New Vaccine Strategy for Strangles
    Researchers will investigate the safety and effectiveness of a novel vaccine to protect horses against strangles, a serious infection caused by bacteria called Streptococcus equi. A safer and more effective vaccine strategy against strangles will greatly improve the prevention of this global equine health challenge.
  • Learning More About How the Immune System Works
    Researchers will gather baseline data on equine monocytes, a type of white blood cell important for fighting off infections and reducing inflammation. Data collected is anticipated to provide real-time insight into the processes occurring within critically ill horses.
  • Establishing Effective Antifungal Medication Dosing in Alpacas
    Researchers will determine appropriate dosing for the antifungal medication fluconazole in alpacas, a treatment for coccidioidomycosis, or valley fever. Although the medication is used effectively to treat coccidioidomycosis in many other species, alpacas absorb oral medications less efficiently.

Morris Animal Foundation, headquartered in Denver, is one of the world’s largest nonprofit organizations that funds scientific studies to advance the health of animals. At any given time, the Foundation has more than 200 studies underway in dogs, cats, horses and wildlife. Since its founding in 1948, the Foundation has supported more than 2,670 studies and invested more than $126 million. Since 1959, it has invested over $20 million in more than 550 equine health studies.

Read more here.

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