Scientists Take Steps Towards New Strangles Vaccine

The protein-based vaccine protected more than 80% of horses from contracting strangles in a recent study.
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Scientists Take Steps Towards a New Strangles Vaccine
Strangles causes respiratory problems, nasal discharge, and large pus-filled abscesses in horses’ throats and necks, among other issues. | Courtesy of the Animal Health Trust
New research published in the journal Vaccine is revealing that scientists have moved a step closer to developing a new vaccine to protect horses from strangles.

Scientists from the Animal Health Trust (AHT), in Newmarket, U.K., the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, in Uppsala; the Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm, Sweden; and Intervacc AB, in Hägersten, Sweden, have developed and tested a new protein-based vaccine to protect horses from strangles. Caused by the bacteria called Streptococcus equi, strangles causes respiratory problems, nasal discharge, and large pus-filled abscesses in horses’ throats and necks, among other issues. With an estimated 600 outbreaks of strangles each year in the U.K. alone, the development of the new vaccine could benefit the health of horses around the world.

“We are delighted to have shown that our Strangvac vaccine protected over 80% of horses from this dreadful disease,” said Jan-Ingmar Flock, PhD, CEO of Intervacc AB, the company that produced the vaccine.

Andrew Waller, BSc, PhD, head of bacteriology at the AHT, added, “Strangvac is an extremely exciting vaccine. The vaccine was designed using information from sequencing the DNA of Streptococcus equi and highlights the potential that the genome-era heralds for improving the health of animals and people. Improving the health of horses is a core aim of the Animal Health Trust and we are proud to have helped make this vaccine a reality towards finally breaking the hold this disease currently has on our horses

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