British Group Develops Strangles Diagnostic Test

After four years of research by scientists at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, a new diagnostic blood test has been developed to combat the virulent horse disease strangles.

The blood test identifies horses that have recently been exposed to strangles. It can be used to screen horses prior to movement, competition, or sales, and will be available soon in the U.K.

The development of the test is part of a campaign to fight strangles, launched by the Animal Health Trust and The British Horse Society in February last year. The campaign has two main aims: to raise awareness among owners, riders, and anyone involved in the health and welfare of horses, and to generate funds to support the vital research in the ongoing battle to eradicate the disease.

"Our research scientists have a particular interest in the diagnosis and prevention of Strangles and the development of this diagnostic test is a major milestone," said Peter Webbon, DVM, chief executive of the Animal Health Trust. "Huge thanks go to all of those who have supported the campaign."

Clinical signs of strangles include fever, profuse nasal discharge, and abscessed lymph nodes of the head and neck. The swelling of these lymph nodes can, in severe cases, restrict the horse's airway, hence the name "strangles."

For more information about the strangles campaign, visit www.strangles.org.  

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