Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers study selenium’s effects on horses

For a new study in the Journal of Animal Science, researchers evaluated how different levels of selenium affect the immune system of adult horses. According to the researchers, the effects of selenium supplementation on the immune system have been evaluated in other species but not extensively in horses.

Dr. Laurie Lawrence, animal science professor at the University of Kentucky, said the amount of selenium in soil and forages varies across the United States. She said that they wanted to know whether horses grazing pasture that was marginal in selenium would react differently to vaccines, compared with horses that were supplemented with additional dietary selenium.

Mieke Brummer, PhD student working with the University of Kentucky and Alltech, said she was interested in the effects of selenium on the immune system, specifically the cell-mediated component of the immune system. The cell-mediated component is responsible for the activation of immune cells. These immune cells can directly attack foreign antigens.

In this experiment, twenty-eight adult horses were divided by age and sex. The horses were then randomly assigned to a dietary selenium treatment. Brummer said the first phase lasted 35-weeks. During the first phase, the researchers were aiming to deplete the selenium in the horses that were assigned to the low diet.

In the next 29-weeks, some the horses that were assigned to low treatments were given additional dietary selenium supplements. Brummer said the horses were either given organic or inorganic selenium supplements. During the last 7 weeks, the horses were given vaccinations. The researchers collected blood samples to evaluate immune response during this time.

Brummer said that the evaluation of vaccination response was not effective. She said other measures of cell-mediated immunity suggested that cell-mediated immune function was suppressed in the horses with low selenium consumption. She said antibody production was unaffected.

“It is important for horse owners to read feed labels so they can avoid both over-supplementation and under-supplementation of all classes of horses,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence said the horses were not performing strenuous exercises in this study. She said the results could have been different if the horses were under performance stress. She said additional research would need to be conducted to study the interaction between selenium, antioxidant and immune response in exercising horses.

Brummer said this study was funded by the Alltech-University of Kentucky Nutrigenomics Alliance.

This article is titled “The effect of selenium supplementation on vaccination response and immune function in adult horses.” It can be read in full at the

Scientific Contact:
Mieke Brummer
University of Kentucky/Alltech
Media Contact:
Laci Jones
American Society of Animal Science
Communications Intern
217-356-9050 /

Madeline McCurry-Schmidt | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

3-D-printed structures shrink when heated

26.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow

26.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

First results of NSTX-U research operations

26.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>