Our work primarily focuses on understanding and improving immunity and protection induced by several modern equine vaccines in the natural host. Historically, the AHT has been greatly involved in the design and development of vaccines against equine respiratory diseases. In the last six years, numerous clinical trials and analytical studies have been conducted by our group for research, vaccine development, registration and/or marketing purposes. Study objectives are varied, including proof of immunogenicity, onset of immunity, efficacy against relevant strain (challenge strain selection, vaccine update/OIE recommendations), duration of immunity, vaccine compatibility, and modification of vaccination schedule or pre-export quarantine conditions. We are also co-leading, with French equine scientists, a project to evaluate the frequency of poor vaccine responders in the Thoroughbred population and to better understand the underlining reasons in order to propose alternative vaccination methods and improve overall vaccine coverage and protection.
We also aim to investigate pathogenic factors with the ability to disrupt the protective immunity. Recently, several superantigens produced by Streptococcus equi and Streptococcus zooepidemicus were identified and investigated. This work will provide a better understanding of the pathogenic process. This collaborative work is conducted with Dr Andrew Waller (AHT), one of the leading expert in Streptococcal infection and vaccination in the horse species.