Pneumonia caused by the bacterium Rhodococcus equi is a leading cause of disease and death in foals worldwide. A licensed vaccine does not exist to prevent this devastating disease. In prior Morris Animal Foundation-funded research, the investigators demonstrated that vaccinating pregnant mares with the researchers' novel vaccine protected 1-month-old foals against an R. equi challenge. In this next phase, the team will determine whether the vaccine also can protect foals during the first week of life, an age when they are infected naturally and when they are more susceptible to the infection. This study fulfills a critical step needed before this vaccine can be justified for use in the field. A vaccine to protect foals against R. equi pneumonia would save the lives of thousands of foals each year and change the landscape of how this disease is controlled in horses worldwide.
Grant amount awarded
Texas A&M AgriLife Research
Noah D. Cohen, VMD, MPH, PhD, DACVIM-LA