Crowdfunding campaign for parasitology research

Crowdfunding, the online strategy for raising cash for anything from company startups to political campaigns, is coming to equine research.

By, Martin Nielsen, an equine parasitologist, veterinarian and assistant professor at the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center, has launched what is possibly the first research crowdfunding project in the field of veterinary science.

Crowdfunding describes reaching out to the general public, usually online, to reach a fundraising goal.

Success in reaching the goal often depends on many individuals making smaller donations through a website.

Nielsen’s crowdfunding campaign, called “Let the germs get the worms: Testing a novel probiotic compound for treatment of equine parasites”, has a goal of raising $US30,000 before March 10.

Nielsen’s research team is devoted to providing solutions for worm control in horses.

Horse parasites, such as small strongyles and large roundworm, are developing increased levels of resistance to all available dewormers. No new drugs are being developed for use in horses, so the equine industry needs new reliable treatment alternatives.

Horses on pasture are constantly exposed to different parasite types. These can cause disease symptoms such as colic, diarrhea and weight loss. Foals are particularly vulnerable to parasite infection and need special attention in parasite control programs.

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