01240-A: Development of a Diagnostic Method for Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $11,880
Daniel A. Gingerich, DVM; Imulan Bio Therapeutics, LLC
May 1, 2009 - April 30, 2010

Sponsor(s): American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club Charitable Trust, American Sealyham Terrier Club, Boston Terrier Club of America Charitable Trust, Chinook Health Fund, French Bulldog Club of America, Sally Z. Monroe, MD FUND, Samoyed Club of America Education & Research Foundation, Tibetan Terrier Club of America/Tibetan Terrier Health & Welfare Foundation, Welsh Terrier Club of America, Inc., Westie Foundation of America, Inc., Yorkshire Terrier Club of America

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Dermatology and Allergic Disease
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Project Summary

Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory, chronically relapsing skin disease that causes intense itching in dogs. The skin of atopic dogs reacts abnormally to environmental allergens. Confirmation of atopy in dogs is often a clinical challenge which involves ruling out other causes such as fleas, food allergies, etc. The purpose of this project was to develop simple blood tests to determine whether or not a dog is likely to have atopic dermatitis. This was done by developing an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for blood serum to determine if the dog is hyper-reactive to its own immune cells. Serum samples from a total of 58 dogs, 29 with atopic dermatitis and 29 non-atopic dogs were analyzed for reactivity using the newly developed ELISA. Dogs with atopic dermatitis had significantly higher anti-immune cell reactivity compared to non atopic dogs (median 6,400 vs. 400 respectively). These results suggest that immune cell reactivity as measured by this new assay may serve as a biomarker for atopic dermatitis in dogs. The ability to distinguish atopic dermatitis in dogs from other skin conditions with similar symptoms would be a substantial advantage for treatment. Next steps include determining wither immune cell hyper-reactivity is specific to atopic dermatitis or whether other autoimmune diseases in dogs react similarly.


None at this time.

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