University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food & Environment


Gluck Center > Research > Department of Veterinary Science

Research in the Department of Veterinary Science

Research - Gluck
Research - Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (LDDC)
Research - AGTRL
The Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center is only one of the divisions comprising the Department of Veterinary Science. The others are the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (formerly Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center) and the Animal Genetic Testing and Research Laboratory.

Active Research Projects at the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Overview--  The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory's primary mission is service to the agricultural industries of Kentucky.  However, in 2005, a new epidemiology program commenced within the laboratory and several interesting collaborative research projects are under way.

Animal Health and Grazing Systems
USDA-CSREES, 2005-06080
Craig Carter (PI), Lenn Harrison, Wade Northington et al.

Develop and implement a dynamic computational system to enable near real-time veterinary epidemiologic investigations for grazing animals.

Network diagram for a new statewide animal health information network that will integrate data streams from the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, the Breathitt Veterinary Center, the Office of the State Veterinarian and higher agencies such as the USDA and the OIE.

Animal Identification and Health Surveillance
Homeland Security
Eric Vanzant (PI), Craig Carter (Co-PI) et al.

The UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is developing a syndromic surveillance system that will monitor submissions to the state's diagnostic laboratories that will provide near real-time reporting. This system will enable centralized electronic collection of data (demographics, herd data, syndromes, risk factors, morbidity, mortality, etc.) from veterinarians and farms to support diagnostic laboratory and veterinary epidemiologic investigations. All observations and results will be captured utilizing standardized methods, taking advantage of a common lexicon (e.g. SNOMED). This will allow for meaningful summarization and statistical analysis of data collected relating to livestock in production settings. This system will be fully graphical, user-definable, and will utilize open database architecture. Furthermore, the new system will build a data warehouse of collected clinical signs, farm information, syndromic data, and more, in a structured manner, allowing for continuous, ongoing statistical analysis (e.g. temporal or spatial cluster analysis) that will trigger disease alerts for possible follow-on investigation. The data warehouse will also support case-control studies, hypothesis testing, and retrospective investigations.

Macro-logic flowchart of laboratory data streams that will be analyzed statistically to identify clusters of events in near real-time. Once a cluster is identified, electronic alerts will be generated for appropriate stakeholders to mount an appropriate health response (e.g. field investigation, quarantine, vaccination program).

Photo of horsesIs Rhodococcus equi a cause or an effect of foal pneumonia?
UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and Texas A&M University
Noah Cohen (PI), Craig Carter (Co-PI) et al.  

The objective of this study is to evaluate the extent to which environmental burden of virulent Rhodococcus equi at breeding farms predicts whether a farm has pneumonia caused by R. equi among foals born and raised at that farm.  Of primary interest will be to clarify whether the increased concentration of virulent organisms occurs prior to development of clinical illness among foals.  Clarifying the temporal relationship of environmental burden to the disease status of foals at farms will help to establish whether increased environmental exposure to virulent R. equi is a cause or effect of disease among foals at farms.  If environmental exposure is a cause of disease, preventive strategies to reduce environmental contamination may be effective for controlling R. equi foal pneumonia at endemic farms.

X-ray of lungs

Pneumonia is a leading cause of disease and death among foals 1 to 4 months of age. The most common form of severe pneumonia in foals during this period is Rhodococcus equi. Treatment is generally prolonged, expensive, and not uniformly successful.



Active Research Projects at the Animal Genetic Testing and Research Lab

Overview--  Ongoing research at the Animal Genetic Testing and Research Laboratory focuses on identifying mutations responsible for heritable disorders and color mutations in horses and dogs.  The goal is development of DNA-based tests to identify carrier and affected animals to assist owners in making informed decisions when breeding their animals. 

Breed organizations with specific research interests are encouraged to contact Dr. Kathryn Graves to discuss their needs.

Photo of horses

Maxwell H.Gluck Equine Research Center
Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40546-0099

Main Office (859) 257-4757
Fax (859) 257-8542