Byron L. Blagburn, Distinguished University Professor

Dr. Blagburn received his Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Parasitology from the University of Illinois.  Dr. Blagburn instructs first, third, and fourth-year students of veterinary medicine, directs graduate student research, and serves as director of the clinical parasitology diagnostic. Among extra-mural supporters of Dr. Blagburn's research are the U.S. National Institutes of Health, The U. S. Department of Agriculture, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The American Foundation for AIDS Research and numerous pharmaceutical companies. He is Past President of the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists, the Southern Conference on Animal Parasites and the Southeastern Society of Parasitologists. He has served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Parasitology and has served on the editorial boards of Veterinary Parasitology and The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. He currently serves on the editorial board of Veterinary Therapeutics. Dr. Blagburn received the Pfizer Award for Research Excellence in 1987.  Dr. Blagburn is the 2001 recipient of the American Association of Veterinary Parasitiologist’s Distinguished Veterinary Parasitologist Award. He is also a 2003 recipient of the Auburn University Student Government Association “Teacher of the Year” Award.


Research Interests

Dr. Blagburn’s research incorporates aspects of both basic and applied veterinary parasitology. Major efforts focus in two research areas: (1) protozoal diseases including Cryptosporidium spp., Neospora caninum, Toxoplasma gondii, Eimeria spp. Cystoisospora spp., Sarcocystis neurona, Hepatozoon spp. and Tritrichomonas spp. and (2) chemotherapeutic methods of parasite control. Within the discipline of chemotherapy, interests are broadened to include parasitic helminthes (heartworm and gastrointestinal species) and arthropods (particularly fleas, ticks and tick-borne diseases). Among tick borne diseases, the infectious agents of interest include Borrelia burgdorferi, Erhlichia spp, and Anaplasma spp.

Protozoal diseases: Major research initiatives involve, host/parasite interactions at the organismal, cellular and molecular levels, host immune responses, including methods of parasite immunomodulation of host responses and exploitation of host responses for diagnostic purposes, and potential methods of immunotherapeutic and chemotherapeutic control. Our laboratories have developed and currently maintain several in vivo and in vitro systems for development and maintenance of several protozoal organisms.

Developmental Chemotherapy: Research in this area involves the development of  bovine, porcine, equine and canine and feline parasiticides. Efforts have focused on several classes of compounds including the benzimidazoles, probenzimidazoles, imidazothiazoles, polyether and macrolide parasiticides, thiamine analogues, benzoyl phenylureas, juvenile hormone analogs, as well as many insecticides/acaricides adult fleas and ticks. Other target parasites include gastrointestinal trichostrongylids in ruminants enteric and systemic coccidia of pigs, cattle, dogs and cats, and nematode and cestode parasites of cats and dogs.

Selected Publications

Blagburn BL, KL Drain, TM Land, RG Kinard, PH Moore, DS Lindsay, DA Patrick, DW Boykin, and RR. Tidwell. 1998. Comparative Efficacy Evaluation of Dicationic Carbazole Compounds, Nitazoxanide, and Paromamycin against Cryptosporodium parvum in a Neonatal Mouse Model. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 42: 2877-2882.

Spencer JA, AK. Witherow, and BL. Blagburn. 2001. A Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA Polymerase Chain Reaction Technique that Differentiates Between Neospora  Species. Journal of Parasitology 86: 1366-1368.

Blagburn BL, JA Spencer, SA Billeter, NL Drazenovitch, JM.Butler, TM.Land, CC. Dykstra, JC. Newton, KC. Stafford, MB. Pough, SA Levy, and DL. Bledsoe. 2004. Use of imidacloprid- permethrin to prevent transmission of Anaplasma phagocytophilum  from naturally infected Ixodes scapularis) ticks to dogs. Veterinary Therapeutics 5:212-217.

Spencer JA, P Deinnocentes, EM Moyana, AJ Guarino, SE Ellison, RC Bird, and BL Blagburn. 2005. Cytokine gene expression in response to SnSAG1 in horses with equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology 12: 644-646.

Billeter SA, JA Spencer, B Chobotar, and BL Blagburn. 2005. Ponazuril inhibits development of Eimeria vermiformis in experimentally infected outbred Swiss mice. Parasitology Research 95: 172-175.

Blagburn BL, MW Dryden, P Payne, MK Rust, DE Jacobs, R Bond, MJ Huchinson, I Denholm, H Mehlhorn, M Vaughn, N Mencke, I Schroeder, J Hostetler and M Endrizzi. 2006. New methods and strategies for monitoring susceptibility of fleas to current flea control products. Veterinary Therapeutics 7: 86-97.

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