Monday, May 12, 2008

Blood test can identify Strangles carriers - Full Article

May 6, 2008

Scientists in Newmarket have developed a blood test that can help identify strangles carriers.

For the past four years, researchers at the Animal Health Trust, have been analysing the genetic structure of Streptococcus equi (S. equi), the bacterium responsible for equine strangles. The study, funded by the Horse Trust, identified two antigens that are produced only by S equi. When horses are exposed to S equi, their immune system targets these antigens and produces antibodies in response. AHT scientists have now developed a blood test that can detect these antibodies.

Strangles is one of the most commonly diagnosed infectious diseases of horses. An important feature of the disease is the occurrence of clinically normal carriers. Once they have recovered, most horses are no longer infectious 4-6 weeks later. But up to 10% of horses may remain as symptomless carriers.

These carriers probably result from pus remaining in the guttural pouches or sinuses...


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