Pony grazing

What do we study?

Dr Neil Bryant in the Department of Veterinary Medicine is Principal Investigator on the equine herpesvirus vaccine development programme, funded by the Alborada Trust and the EBM charitable Trust. 

This multi-year research project aims to create new and improved vaccines to protect against equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1).  EHV-1 is a viral infection that can cause respiratory and neurological disease in adult horses, and abortion or fatal illness in newborn foals. Despite the potential severity and impact of outbreaks, no licensed vaccine protects against the neurological form of the disease and protection afforded by existing vaccines in use is suboptimal.

Through this research, the team will construct different viruses with attenuating mutations and assess their suitability as live attenuated vaccines. They hope the findings will enable further development by vaccine manufacturers in creating an effective vaccine to protect against the serious clinical signs induced by EHV-1.

Why do we use ponies?

In order to get any successful vaccine to market, safety and efficacy data must be obtained by using the natural host of EHV-1, in this case Welsh mountain ponies.