2 Researchers To Study Equine Pigeon Fever

Posted: Dec. 3, 2012, 3:20 p.m. EST



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Pigeon fever is prevalent in California and other Western and Midwestern states.

The 2012 Advancement of Equine Research Awards were announced at the American Association of Equine Practitioners conference, which continues through Wednesday in Anaheim, Calif.

The grants will go to Roberta R. Pollock, Ph.D., a biology professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles, and Allison J. Stewart, BVSc, a professor of equine internal medicine at Auburn University in Alabama.

A panel of equine practitioners, university professors and researcher chose Drs. Pollock and Stewart.

Pigeon fever, also known as dry land distemper, is a regional disease caused by the bacteria C. pseudotuberculosis. It produces external and internal abscesses, the latter of which is fatal in about 40 percent of cases, Pollock said.

She called the disease “underfunded and underappreciated.”

Pollock intends to combine equine disease infection studies with a mouse model to identify and clone protective antigens from C. pseudotuberculosis.

Stewart and graduate student Marta Barbra Recreo will study the transmission of C. pseudotuberculosis by houseflies, the disease’s seasonality and insect vectors.

The topic for the third annual Advancement of Equine Research Awards, sponsored by St. Joseph, Mo.-based BIVI, will be announced in the spring.

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