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Identifying Cause of Blood Clots

Equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) is a common virus that affects horses worldwide. It can cause spinal cord injuries that lead to devastating neurological disease. Mildly affected horses may only lose tail sensation, but severely affected horses are often paralyzed and must be euthanized. These injuries occur because blood clots form in the horse’s blood vessels, starving the spinal cord of oxygen. Why horses with EHV-1 develop these blood clots is unknown. Researchers will determine whether EHV-1 produces blood clots by infecting cells within the bloodstream or cells lining blood vessels, turning them into clot-forming agents. The findings will provide insight into why horses with EHV-1 infection develop neurological disease.