History of EAFL research

A case definition for EAFL and preliminary research about its causes commenced shortly after unusual abortions were described from mares in 2004. Read more here for information on the history of EAFL research 2004 – 2014.

 What research is being done now?

A series of experimental studies involving administration of processionary caterpillar material to pregnant mares, have been conducted at the University of Queensland Gatton. This work resulted in two PhD theses, published in 2013 and 2014.

Work is also establishing a laboratory animal model of EAFL using guinea pigs. This provides an excellent means to explore in more detail how caterpillars can act to allow bacteria to gain entry into the pregnant uterus and how the disease progresses. We can also use the guinea pig model to determine if other species of caterpillar cause EAFL.

Field research is underway to better understand processionary caterpillar ecology. A particular focus of field studies is to identify ways horses are exposed to the risk of accidently ingesting caterpillar hairs, and to devise interventions that will allow broodmare managers to minimise this risk.

For more information on current research being undertaken by The University of Queensland and industry partners click here.

List of research posts:

Newsletters from the UQ research project.

Students wishing to inquire about research opportunities click here.