Leroy Coggins, DVM, PhD, who in 1970 developed the now ubiquitous Coggins test for equine infectious anemia (EIA), has died at the age of 81.

Coggins earned a bachelor of science in dairy sciences from North Carolina State University (NCSU) in 1955, a DVM from Oklahoma State University in 1957, and a PhD in virology from Cornell University in 1962. 

"Dr. Coggins was in Kenya in the mid-1960s for a five-year USDA project when he helped develop a new diagnostic test for African swine fever," a statement on NSCU's website read. "He returned to Cornell in 1968 to study equine infectious anemia, a viral disease of horses for which there is no vaccine and no cure. Dr. Coggins applied the insight he gained in developing the diagnostic test for African swine fever and created a method that quickly and effectively checks for EIA antibodies in the horse's blood."

The USDA approved the test in 1973. For decades the Coggins test has been required in movement of all horses and is currently the gold standard as a serological diagnosis of EIA.

According to an obituary on News & Observer, Coggins, who died in late December 2013, is survived by his wife, Betty; their five children; and eleven grandchildren.

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, News Editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in three-day eventing with her OTTB, Dorado, and enjoys photography in her spare time.

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