01364-A: Heat shock protein 72 (HSP72) as a biomarker for acclimation to, and performance in high level physical activity in pure-bred military working dogs

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $12,000
Dr. Yaron Bruchim, D.V.M., Hebrew University of Jerusalem
November 1, 2009 - December 31, 2011
Sponsor(s): Scottish Terrier Club of America
Breed(s): German Shepherd Dog, Belgian Malinois
Research Program Area: Prevention

Abstract

Heat stroke (HS) is a devastating condition in both humans and companion animals, with reported death rates of 5% and 50%, respectively. Classical (environmental) heat stroke occurs when an animal or person are exposed to high environmental temperatures, such as when it is inadvertently locked in an unventilated vehicle. Exertional heat stroke occurs when an animal or person performers strenuous exercise, especially under heat stress. The Israel Defense Force Military Working Dog Unit (IDFMWDU) contains a majority of pure-bred Belgian malinois dogs imported periodically from Western Europe, where the combination of temperature and humidity, collectively termed heat stress are significantly lower than in Israel. Upon arrival, these dogs engage in a gradual training period with progressively increasing physical exercise, during which they are exposed to heavy heat stress. Although all dogs have a similar age, are the same breed, and are trained under identical conditions, some develop HS, while others do not. It has been previously shown that individuals have a genetic susceptibility for developing HS. The ability to test for this genetic susceptibility may prove itself useful in the selection of both canines and soldiers for military jobs with high risk for heat stroke, and aid in the prevention of this condition. Heat shock protein 72 (HSP72) is a protein that is induced in the body under conditions of increased heat stress. The purpose of our study is to investigate whether this protein can be used as a predictor for individual susceptibility to develop heat stroke in military working dogs.

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