A short video of our operating Flexineb II nebulizer can be viewed using this link:

Investigating a New Treatment Strategy for Equine Asthma

Equine asthma, also previously known as heaves, recurrent airway obstruction and COPD, is a significant problem with limited treatment options. This chronic allergic respiratory condition is diagnosed in all breeds and reportedly affects between 10 and 20 percent of adult horses. Common symptoms include recurrent cough, labored breathing and exercise intolerance. Researchers found increased levels of a specific protein in airway samples of horses with asthma when compared to healthy horses. In this study, the team will investigate if targeting this novel protein is a viable new therapeutic strategy to treat equine asthma.


Bovine Leukocyte Functional Interactions with Salmonella

Non-typhoidal Salmonellae are the leading cause of human bacterial foodborne gastroenteritis in the US. Adding to this problem is the alarming increase in Salmonella strains that are resistant to multiple antibiotics. In order to address the growing concern about multi-drug resistant Salmonella infections in humans and production animals, producers need new strategies to decrease the use of antibiotics while preserving the ability to prevent and/or treat infection. We are investigating an innovative strategy to combat Salmonella by targeting the host response, rather than the pathogen.  Our long-term goal is to identify a novel therapy to inhibit Salmonella shedding in cattle and ultimately reduce food supply contamination.


Leukocyte Integrin Signaling

Neutrophils are considered the first responders of the immune system upon exposure to a pathogen.  Neutrophils express specialized cell surface receptors called integrins. These integrins play an essential role in the ability of neutrophils to adhere to extracellular matrix, migrate through blood vessels, regulate the cytoskeleton, and perform protective innate immunity functions, such as respiratory burst and NETosis. Our lab studies the intricate cell signaling events triggered by neutrophil integrins in order to identify targeted therapies to combat excessive neutrophilic inflammation during disease.


Correlational Study on Atmospheric Particulate Matter and Inflammatory Markers of Asthma in Pastured Horses

Major roadways, a known source of fine particles (PM2.5), are linked with respiratory diseases such as asthma in people. Horses often live part-, and even full-time, on pasture/outdoors, and with increased urbanization, the proximity of horse facilities to major roadways is increasing. Therefore, we are investigating the impact of road proximity on concentrations of PM2.5 in two different horse pastures located 2.5 miles apart in the southeastern United States (Raleigh, NC), one of which is directly adjacent to a major roadway, and one that is not. Additionally, we will determine whether there are correlations between seasonal levels of PM2.5 and inflammatory and disease markers of equine asthma syndrome (EAS) in horses housed on these pastures year-round. This study will provide valuable information to individual horse owners and the horse industry as a whole by helping to elucidate the impact of relevant environmental pollutants on the respiratory health of pastured horses.