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Time to check in!

It will soon be our 20th Anniversary at Pathogenes!  We’ve paved new ground and published most of our work because I grew up in the “publish or perish” era.  Now days science is all about technology transfer, it’s “patent or perish”! You may have participated in some things we invented that didn’t get off the ground, looking at down-regulation of molecules in response to S. neurona infection. I never cease to be amazed that this assay predicted the degree of illness a horse would have in a few months. It was expensive and cumbersome to run and ultimately discarded.  How about our horse-side antibody assay?  Who could predict that would strike out?  In a mere 15 minutes you knew if antibodies were present in serum or CSF.
I loved that one. Here is what it looked like:Dipstick assay

We took some side trips, identifying a cell that could support the replication of millions of PRRS virus in vitro, we grew 7 species of Eimeria in cell cultures resulting in a vaccine that would eliminate all those hen houses, and developed monoclonal antibodies, one  against S. suis and provided a local University with a much needed pig-herd vaccine. We collaborated with folks in Germany (looking at pigeon sarcocystosis), Norway (an acquired polyneuritis in Norwegian horses) and Canada. Sarcocystosis and Toxoplasmosis in dogs and cats didn’t escape our interest. But our heart belongs to people dealing with neuromuscular diseases in horses. We remember Amy and Ty from years ago, their picture shows the bond we have with our horses.

We have a paper, in press, that blazes a new trail for others to follow.  The paper explains the rationale for detecting S. fayeri toxin in horses, if you want the punch line--we detect cysts in live horses! We aren’t giving up our quest for new treatments or determining how disease progresses in horses, mouse or man. Horses have always led the field in neuromuscular research, spinal nerves were an important source of myelin for research in Myasthenia Gravis and Guillain Barre syndrome.  As most of you know, we got our ideas and direction from the work done in the 1980’s.  Wish we could say it was our idea and our hard work, but really, we  just pieced together a logical story from published literature.

Our current  directions are identifying the inherited genes that predict late onset ataxia in horses and defining the expressed protein environment in response to specific treatments given to animals with neurologic disease.  We are interested in the molecular targets of drugs in the nervous system and why they act for weeks after a dose.  We are surprisingly close to figuring that one out! You'll need special tubes to participate in these studies, contact us to find out if you can be a part of this research.

What stands out in our work is our ability to give clinicians information about their case and how it compares to hundreds of similar cases across the country.  We document all the information derived from our assays and connect the data to the feedback we get from you.  It’s time to catch up and let us know about your horse.  Even if our last contact was years and years ago, you are still in our system and gentle on our minds. Why, we may even have a picture of your horse if you sent one! We’d like to hear from you.  Here are some useful links:

To give us your update please use this form:

A veterinarian can give us information about a horse with neurological disease:

A horse owner can give us information about a horse with neurological disease:

If your horse was treated we’d like a post-treatment update:

If you suspect polyneuritis equi this form is appropriate: