Anthony Blikslager has more than 20 years experience in equine surgery and gastrointestinal physiology. Together with his team, Blikslager investigates the permeability, maintenance and repair of the intestinal barrier, which have significant implications for infectious diseases.
He is half South African, and together with Mat Gerard, he collaborates with Johan Marais, an equine and wildlife surgeon at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and co-founder of Saving the Survivors. Together, they are mapping the paranasal sinus anatomy of rhinos to increase the survival of animals injured by poachers in Africa. In South Africa, Blikslager and Gerard have also helped local communities by working with South Africa World Vets to provide basic veterinary care for dogs and cats.
Blikslager is dedicated to introducing veterinary students to the socioeconomic challenges that surround animal healthcare in other parts of the world. Since 2014, he has participated in an educational exchange between NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and IAV Hassan II in Morocco, North Africa, where veterinary students and clinicians receive clinical training and help local communities by improving healthcare for working equids. They also travel to Casablanca and Marrakesh to work with clinicians from IAV Hassan II and SPANA, and help improve the relationship between working equids, their owners and the local economy.
Global Health Research Fields
- Global equine health
- Global rhinoceros health
Main Areas of Expertise
- Gastroenterology (basic science and veterinary medicine)
- Large animal surgery
- DVM student training in Africa
Global Health Research Interests
- Investigating mechanisms responsible for maintenance and restoration of the intestinal barrier to facilitate treatment of diseases associated with intestinal permeability
- The impact of working equid health and well-being on socioeconomic factors in Morocco and Ethiopia
- The impact of wildlife poaching on African ecosystems and local communities
- Increasing global engagement of DVM students through international experiences in Morocco, Ethiopia and South Africa
Countries of Experience
- South Africa
- Mechanisms of intestinal injury and repair
- Educational exchange between NC State DVM students and clinicians with IAV Hassan II, Morocco, to improve healthcare for working equids
- Surgical conservation of white rhinos in Africa through a greater understanding of rhinoceros anatomy
- Surgical consultation with North American zoos to improve treatment of rhinos with upper airway diseases
- University of Pretoria | South Africa
- Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital | South Africa
- Saving the Survivors | Africa
- South Africa World Vets | South Africa
- SPANA | Morocco
- IAV Hassan II | Morocco
- Brookfield Zoo, Chicago | United States
Zhang Q, Ke H, Blikslager A, Fujita T, Yoo D. Type III interferon restriction by porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and the role of viral protein nsp1 in IRF1 signaling. J Virol 2018 Jan; 92(4): pii: e01677-17 (Pubmed)
Meliopoulos VA, Marvin SA, Freiden P, Moser LA, Nighot P, Ali R, Blikslager A, Reddivari M, Heath RJ, Koci MD, Schultz-Cherry S. Oral administration of astrovirus caspid protein is sufficient to induce acute diarrhea in vivo. MBio 2016 Nov; 7(6): pii: e01494-16 (Pubmed)
Jacobi SK, Moeser AJ, Blikslager AT, Rhoads JM, Corl BA, Harrell RJ, Odle J. Acute effects of rotavirus and malnutrition on intestinal barrier function in neonatal piglets. World J Gastroenterol 2013 Aug; 19(31):5094-102 (Pubmed)
Global Health Memberships
- American Association of Equine Practitioners – Foundation Advisory Council.
- AAEP provides disaster relief funding and welfare funding for horses and other working equids in North and Central America.