Improving Fungal Diagnosis in Horses

Principal Investigator: Soon Hon Cheong

Co-PI: Mariana Diel de Amorim; Craig Altier

Department of Clinical Sciences
Sponsor: Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation Inc
Grant Number: 692
Title: Improving Fungal Diagnosis in Horses
Project Amount: $118,251
Project Period: April 2020 to March 2022

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): 

There is a potentially long lag-time for veterinarians to obtain results from fungal culture and antifungal susceptibility testing. This delay forces veterinarians to guess which treatment to start with while waiting for results and even discourages veterinarians from submitting the sample at all. The unintended consequences of making the wrong antifungal treatment include: worsening of the disease, selection of resistant fungal agents, the high cost of treatment, and the erosion of trust between the owner and the veterinarian. The longer the delay in getting the results, the more likely that unintended consequences will occur. There is also very little information that is available to help guide the treatment selection for the veterinarian. This proposal seeks to explore two primary areas: the first is to use new molecular tools for rapid diagnosis and identification of fungal infections; and the second is to improve our knowledge of antifungal resistance in fungal isolates from clinical horse samples. Our long-term goals are to develop a rapid diagnostic test for fungal infection in horses and improve antifungal susceptibility screening to help guide clinician treatment selection for fungal infections in horses.