Viral diseases of humans and animals are increasingly important to maintaining
world health. The changing demographics of the horse industry, especially the international movement of sport horses, clearly places horses in a high-risk category for both infection and transmission of any new and/or emerging viral disease. The
Equine Viral Disease Laboratory in the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of
California, Davis, was dedicated on April 23, 1999, to facilitate the diagnosis, control and study of the global spread of viruses that have the potential to cause disease
in horses and possibly humans. The laboratory was made possible by a generous
gift from Dr. Bernard and Mrs. Gloria Salick. Long-term programmatic support for
the laboratory has been provided by the Harriet E. Pfleger Foundation, the Bernice
Barbour Foundation, and the Stans Foundation. It operates under the direction of
Dr. N. James MacLachlan.
The Equine Viral Disease Laboratory participates in the international effort to develop better diagnostic technology to identify, monitor and control these diseases
as well as improved vaccines to prevent them. It also coordinates regular and systematic dissemination of information
pertaining to equine viral diseases to the sport horse industry
and provides a facility that serves as a global hub where
scientists interact in the study of these diseases.
As part of our monitoring efforts, we interface with similar programs elsewhere within
the university, such as the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory, the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, the Center for Vector-borne Diseases, and the Center for Equine Health.
We also collaborate with units within the state, such as the California Department of Food and Agriculture, with federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control, and with agencies that monitor infectious diseases globally, such as the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) and the World Health Organization. Scientists in our laboratory also interact and collaborate with other pre-eminent researchers throughout the world who also study viral diseases of the horse.