Joint infections can lead to devastating consequences to a horse's soundness, athletic career or even their lives. Bacterial infections in other locations can usually be eliminated with a course of antibiotics. However, when bacteria enter a joint, they interact with joint fluid and group together in a protein-containing clump that allows them to evade antibiotics. This results in persistent infections that cause inflammation and arthritis. To combat these persistent infections, researchers will examine the antimicrobial components of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which may help the immune system recognize the bacteria, work in concert with antibiotics to clear the infection and protect cartilage from damage. This therapy has the potential to decrease hospitalization time and cost as well as pain and suffering not only in horses, but in other species including companion animals.
Grant amount awarded
North Carolina State University