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Resident Megan Lowman, DVM to present a retrospective study on next generation sequencing (NGS) in equine sinusitis


On Saturday, October 15, Equine Medical Center surgery resident, Megan Lowman, DVM will present a retrospective study on next generation sequencing (NGS) in equine sinusitis at the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) Surgery Summit in Portland, Oregon.

NGS identifies microbial DNA in samples using technology that was originally used in the human genome project. Traditional methods of identifying microorganisms rely on culture using specific media plates. It is well recognized in human microbiology that not all bacteria present in sinus infections are cultivable (i.​e.​, will grow on culture plates) and therefore techniques that identify DNA within samples are more sensitive at identifying pathogens.

In early 2016, James Brown, BVSc, MS, DACT, ACVS, at that time a clinical assistant professor of equine surgery at the Equine Medical Center, started sending samples from horses with sinus infections to MicroGenDX Laboratories in Lubbock, Texas to perform NGS, and approximately 80 samples from horses with sinus infections have been analyzed to date.

Information gathered from this study will help identify the major microorganisms that are found in sinus infections and any relationships that may exist between the cause of sinusitis and the microbes identified. More in-depth knowledge of the microbes that are present in sinus infections has already helped treat sinusitis cases during the study period.

Sharing this information with equine practitioners will greatly assist them in treating cases in the field. With this data, MicroGen Vet is working to develop more rapid PCR screening tests based on NGS study results to reduce turnaround time for microbiology results. Greater understanding of the full complement of microorganisms responsible for sinusitis is an important step forward in developing more successful treatment protocols and reducing convalescence time.