Fight Against Equine Infectious Disease Helped by EFC

With a highly mobile horse community, keeping horses free from disease is one of the biggest challenges for horse owners. The fight to keep infectious diseases at bay has taken a step forward with a generous donation from the Equine Foundation of Canada (EFC). The funding allows the purchase of new equipment, including a microcentrifuge and fluorometer, for the Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses at the University of Guelph.

"This equipment will help us explore some new areas in equine infectious diseases and hopefully help us understand how to better treat and prevent serious infections," said Scott Weese DVM, DVSc, Dipl. ACVIM, an associate professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Canada Research Chair at the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College. "We are grateful for the assistance of the Equine Foundation of Canada in advancing equine infectious disease research."

The funding for this equipment will help advance the specialized work being done in Weese's lab, and complement the array of equipment that is already present in the laboratory, including a state-of-the-art 'next generation' sequencing system.

"Our laboratory was the first laboratory of any type in Canada to obtain this system, and it provides a unique capability internationally to perform equine infectious diseases research," continued Weese.

With increased awareness of the dangers of infectious disease, recently heightened by the news of an equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) fatality in Ontario, this is a timely and welcome development.

"Biosecurity, the prevention of disease spread, is an issue of growing concern for the industry," said Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. "Equine Guelph will be working with Dr. Weese and his staff to get more information out to the horse industry in our communications and education programs. The Equine Foundation of Canada has helped us to move this agenda forward with their funding for new equipment and are to be commended for their initiative to help the Canadian horse industry in this way."

Registration is now open for a new education program, "Beat the Bugs: Biosecurity for the Horse Owner," which launches this spring. Participants will learn valuable information for themselves and for their employees to help prevent the spread of infectious disease.

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