The Equine Infectious Diseases Research Program (EQUID)


The EQUID core faculty members are Drs. Robert H. Mealey, Donald P. Knowles, and Joshua D. Ramsay, veterinarians and faculty in the Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology department. Each is specialty board-certified in a clinical discipline: Drs. Knowles and Ramsay in veterinary pathology and Dr. Mealey in equine internal medicine.

Additional key faculty and staff members of the EQUID program include Dr. Massaro Ueti, USDA-ARS scientist and expert in equine piroplasmosis pathogenesis, transmission, diagnostics, and treatment; Dr. Wendy Brown, Regence Professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology and expert in large animal tick-borne diseases, immunology, and vaccine development; Dr. Katrina Mealey, Professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and expert in internal medicine, clinical pharmacology, and mechanisms of drug resistance and director of the Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory; and Lowell Kappmeyer, molecular biologist and geneticist, and expert in equine piroplasmosis pathogenesis, diagnostics, and genome sequencing.

Altogether, this group has published over 500 scientific papers and has an impressive history of animal disease and equine infectious disease research, supported by the National Institutes of Health, USDA, Grayson Jockey Club, Morris Animal Foundation, and the generosity of private donations.

EQUID also includes numerous graduate students, many of whom are equine veterinarians; post-doctoral fellows; veterinary students; undergraduate students; and several highly qualified research technicians and horse care technicians.

EQUID was built on WSU's long-standing history of pioneering equine research. Early ground-breaking work on the critical importance of passive transfer of immunity from mares to foals in the first 24 hours of life via the first milk (colostrum) was performed here. Without this passive transfer protection, newborn foals develop life-threatening infections. Early recognition and treatment of Failure of Passive Transfer (FPT) in newborn foals has become the standard of practice and has prevented countless foal deaths throughout the world. In addition, the fatal genetic disease in Arabian horses called severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) was first described here, as was the nature of the disease and its inheritance pattern. This work was built upon by others eventually leading to the discovery of the genetic basis of the disorder and a diagnostic test for the genetic defect, which is widely used today.