Lawsonia Intracellularis Study: Thoroughbred Farm Participation Needed

The University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center needs Lexington-area Thoroughbred farms to participate in a study to determine Thoroughbred weanlings' seroprevalence (presence of positive serum antibodies) to Lawsonia intracellularis, the causative agent of equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE).

Allen Page, DVM, a doctoral student in the Gluck Center laboratory of David Horohov, PhD, William Robert Mills Chair, is conducting the research. Page hopes to include at least 35 farms and 350 weanlings in the study, which is funded by the Equine Drug Research Council of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Thoroughbred farms within 25 miles of Lexington that have had or not had cases of EPE are encouraged to participate.

"The seroprevalence data will provide us with information about the overall exposure of horses to L. intracellularis," Page said.

Goals of the study are to determine the seroprevalence of antibodies to L. intracellularis in Thoroughbred weanlings; determine the risk factors for exposure to L. intracellularis; determine the effect, if any, of exposure to L. intracellularis on yearling public sales price; and determine the effect, if any, of exposure to L. intracellularis on racing records.

The study will be conducted from August 2010 to January 2011. Study results will be published in a scientific journal. Farms participating will remain anonymous.

Farms interested in participating should contact Page at 859/489-4144 or a.page@uky.edu by July 5.

Jenny Blandford is the Gluck Equine Research Foundation Assistant at the Gluck Center.

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