American Heartworm Society opts to fund independent research

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Veterinary parasitology organization identifies need for more answers, solicits research proposals.

Citing the need to better understand critical issues such as macrocyclic lactone resistance to heartworm preventives and the role of the immune system in heartworm prevention, the American Heartworm Society (AHS) has announced that it is accepting proposals for new heartworm research studies.

The AHS board of directors voted in October to create a new heartworm research fund after determining a need for more independent studies on heartworm disease.

The new fund is in addition to AHS grant money already available for heartworm research through the Morris Animal Foundation.

“The American Heartworm Society's mission is to lead the veterinary profession and the public in the understanding of heartworm disease,” says AHS president Stephen Jones, DVM. “While we will maintain our strong focus on heartworm education through scientific symposia, heartworm guidelines, online initiatives and client education tools, we have concluded that research also is needed to further our profession's understanding of this serious disease.”

Additional heartworm studies are underway now. Along with funding future research, the AHS recently partnered with the National Center for Veterinary Parasitology (NCVP) to award research grants for three scientific studies. These studies were approved during the October AHS board meeting.

“These studies will help set the stage for scientific research to follow,” states Thomas Nelson, DVM, chairman of the AHS research committee.

“Veterinarians and parasitologists today have questions about how heartworm preventives work and what factors contribute to heartworm resistance and product failure. As an organization dedicated to expanding knowledge about heartworm disease, we believe it is our responsibility to help find answers to these important questions.”

Researchers who are interested in submitting proposals to the AHS are encouraged to visit heartwormsociety.org for more about the criteria and timing for submitting their proposals.

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