Heartworm Group Plans $200,000 in New Research

The American Heartworm Society is accepting study applications in a move to expand what is known about heartworm disease.

Diagnosed in all 50 states, heartworm disease strikes dogs, cats and ferrets, according to the American Heartworm Society.

American Heartworm Society

The American Heartworm Society, which works to spread awareness about heartworm disease in pets, has set aside $200,000 to fund its first independent research.

The Wilmington, Del., organization will continue to work with Morris Animal Foundation and other partners on heartworm studies. The society’s board of directors in October approved three projects with the National Center for Veterinary Parasitology but decided that more needs to be learned about issues such as macrocyclic lactone resistance to heartworm preventives and the role of the immune system in heartworm prevention.

“While we will maintain our strong focus on heartworm education through scientific symposia, heartworm guidelines, online initiatives and client education tools, we have concluded that research also is needed to further our profession’s understanding of this serious disease,” said President Stephen Jones, DVM.

The organization is accepting research proposals and has posted more information at www.heartwormsociety.org/about/our-research. The awards will range in value from $10,000 to $50,000.

The three research grants coordinated with the National Center for Veterinary Parasitology totaled $58,000 and went to Timothy Geary, Ph.D., of McGill University in Montreal; Charles D. Mackenzie, BVSc, Ph.D., Dipl. ACVIM, of Michigan State University; and Michael T. Suderman, M.Sc., of Cell Systems-3D in Kemah, Texas.

Morris Animal Foundation is holding about $215,000 for heartworm research through a fund established by the American Heartworm Society. The deadline to apply for those grants is March 18, 2015.

The society receives financial backing from a variety of corporate sponsors, including Merial Ltd., Zoetis Inc., Novartis Animal Health and Heska.

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