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Monday, August 27, 2007

Laminitis Researcher "Accidentally" Discovers New Bacteria in Horse Digestive Tract

Two new species of bacteria have been discovered in the gut of horses. Streptococcus henryi and streptococcus caballi, were found by accident by UQ veterinary science PhD student Gabriel Milinovich while researching the hoof-deteriorating disease of laminitis.

Mr Milinovich made the discoveries in 2004 in horses at St Lucia but has only recently classified and confirmed their existence. He said he did not believe the bacteria, two of thousands found in a horse's gut, were related to laminitis or harmful.

The 27-year-old researcher said he named streptococcus henryi in honour of Dr Dick Peter Henry, a UQ veterinary microbiologist who continued his research up to his recent death at age 78.

Streptococcus caballi was named in honour of the riding horse which is most prone to developing laminitis.

Milinovich's research will be published in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. He is supervised by Professor Chris Pollitt, Dr Darren Trott and Dr Paul Burrell.

(post edited from a university press release)

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