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A fast way to learn more is to search our blogs! Use this link and the search box to find all blogs on a specific topic.

Veterinarians may benefit from our continuing education courses offered by Pathogenes.  Our continuing education courses allow veterinarians to view colorful, easy to understand documents with state of the art information.  If you don't read all the current literature or attend all the  meetings you can catch up here!  You will need to answer a few questions to receive a certificate but CE credits will no longer be available. The courses are sequential. EPM II has updated content!  Call us for the course documents.



Pathogenes Inc. is a licensed Veterinarian Course Provider (PVD165)
(CE credits are no longer available)

If you completed a course email us to get the documents for the next course.

  • 7692 EPM II updated 2/2/2018

    EPM II 7692 2018   
     3 hours

  • 7866 The Association of Polyneuritis and EPM 

     Polyneuritis_7866                         1 hour

  • 8081 Cerebrospinal Fluid Collection and Analysis

    Standing Centesis 8081                
    3 hours


Our novel contributions to science are shared through peer reviewed papers.  Please read these technical articles and give me a call with any questions.  Our target audience varies, generally the papers are written to inform the EPM research community about our findings obtained from field observations, field trials, and by experiment.  We intend the papers to assist veterinarians that diagnose and treat EPM to make sense of EPM research. A less technical discussion of the works are found in the blog.  The target audience for the blogs are horse owners and others interested in EPM research. 

 List of Dr. Ellison's first author publications:

S. neurona in tissue culture

As a graduate student at the University of Florida Dr. Ellison investigated the conditions necessary for the culture of  S. neurona merozoites, the stage that was isolated from the central nervous  system of horses.  It was important to grow a lot of organisms to isolate proteins, RNA, and DNA for her PhD thesis work. 2001 in vitro cult


S. neurona, electron micrograph

The culmination of the work at UF was the characterization of the SnSAG 1 antigen. Equally important was the development of a monoclonal antibody, an immunological tool, that was specific for S. neurona SAG 1. 2001 SAG 1



The SAG1 antigen, or surface cell marker, was used to develop a test that would track infections in horses. This test became the basis for the Peptide ELISA's that can serotype S. neurona infections in horses. The important SAG 1 antigen is described in this paper.  2003 ELISA


A model is a theory of disease.  A disease model is an animal (or cell) that displays all or some of the pathological processes that are observed in the actual disease process..  An EPM model was needed to induce reproducible disease, observe early signs of EPM and allow scientists to follow the progression of disease.  Dr. Ellison's model was developed for pharmaceutical companies because industry scientists wanted to test their treatments and look for a genetic bias in the susceptibility of some horses to EPM. The model presents a novel idea because it shows that S. neurona can enter white blood cells and then use these cells to travel into the central nervous system.  Appropriately, the model became known as the Trojan Horse model of EPM. A striking observation was that all the horses showed similar and progressive signs after they were infected.  2004 Trojan Horse Model


A surprising finding, to the observers of the horses that got EPM using the Trojan Horse model, was that we were looking at the wrong disease!  Horses weren't only wobbly, they had other signs of EPM seen early in the course of infection.  These observations supported what owners and field practitioners had suspected. 2003 Early Signs


In this paper, we show that a vaccine can prevent EPM.  The Trojan horse model was used to induce disease and to show the effectiveness of the vaccine prototype in a small group of horses. The level of antibody needed to protect against disease is interesting. There is an indication that humoral (antibody) immunity plays a part in protection against EPM. 2009 SAG1 Vaccine


We worked with some small animal veterinarians that had concerns about EPM in dogs and cats with neurological disease. At the same time we collaborated with a veterinarian/graduate student from Germany.  Our German veterinarian was studying S. calchasi, a Sarcocystis that causes disease similar to EPM in pigeons. She wanted to learn how to develop ELISA tests and take the knowledge back to her lab. The intensive, summer-long visit led to this paper. 2012 Seroprevalence Dogs


This paper describes our work treating EPM syndrome in natural cases. This work is the basis for several patents and the desire to license an FDA approved product that is affordable.  2012 Treatment


The culmination of our understanding of EPM is that the disease is a syndrome. The syndrome involves infection and inflammation.  After infection, and sometimes after treatment, the horse can succumb to chronic inflammation that leads to dysregulated cytokine reactions and eventually, an autoimmune disease. We developed an assay that measures the amount of autoimmune antibodies against the myelin protein P2 that covers peripheral nerves. Antibodies are found in serum and CSF taken from horses showing progressive signs of neurodegeneration.  Anti-myelin antibodies are a result of the action of inflammatory molecules that can expose myelin protein to the immune system. Ellison 2015 MPP MP2 Assay


This study associates the presence of anti-myelin protein antibodies to EPM and horses with Sarcocystis infections. 2015 EPM and MPP



Sarcocyst in muscle tissue

Sarcocystis fayeri causes sarcocystosis in horses and some infected horses develop chronic inflammation and can suffer from autoimmune disease. 2016 S fayeri



We showed that EPM is a syndrome that is associated with 3 diseases using field cases, horses with a history of chronic/relapsing disease! The three disease model of EPM includes S. neurona, S. fayeri, and polyneuritis.