The Bernice Barbour Communicable Disease Laboratory of the Center for Equine Health conducts research to identify the mechanisms by which infectious microorganisms cause disease, utilizing the horse as the initial investigative model.
Because the horse is second only to humans in the speed and frequency with which it traverses the globe, it serves as an ideal model for the study of communicable disease transmission, though the laboratory's mechanistic approach facilitates the discovery and application of knowledge to all disease regardless of the host species or infectious agent.
The laboratory's work focuses on three critical areas of infectious disease research:
- the microorganism's life outside the host
- the pathogenic mechanisms that microorganisms utilize to invade the host and cause disease
- the defense mechanisms utilized by those hosts against microorganisms
Scientists at the Bernice Barbour Communicable Disease Laboratory are developing an international network of collaborating scientists and laboratories to promote the implementation of disease prevention strategies on a global basis.
Laboratory faculty will also foster and develop skills, knowledge and expertise in infectious diseases among the next generation of veterinary research scientists.