Glanders is a contagious and life threatening disease caused by the bacterium Burkholderia mallei which affects horses, mules and donkeys. Signs of glanders include the development of abscesses and ulcerative lesions in multiple organs, notably the respiratory tract and lungs. There are no effective vaccines to prevent the disease, and aggressive treatment with antimicrobials is largely ineffective. Using genome-wide screening technologies, researchers will study B. mallei-infected immune cells to identify host genes modulated by the bacterium that suppress immune responses and are pertinent to disease progression in infected patients. Understanding how the bacterium survives and evades the immune system will help researchers develop new therapeutic strategies to prime and enhance the immune system to mitigate disease and improve survival of infected horses.
Grant amount awarded
The University of Georgia
Sophie A. Aschenbroich, BSc, DVM