02831: Mechanisms of NK(T) Cell Mediated Inflammation during Canine Lyme Disease

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $160,677
Christine A Petersen, DVM, PhD; University of Iowa
December 1, 2020 - November 30, 2022

Sponsor(s): Gordon Setter Club of America, Inc.

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Tick-Borne Disease Initiative
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One Health: Yes


Tick-borne diseases are found in all 50 states of the United States and are the most common vector-borne disease diagnosed in the U.S.  Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and related species (sensu lato), is the flagship disease for this in both dogs and people. Another important canine tick-borne disease found in combination with B. burgdorferi is anaplasmosis caused by Anaplasma platys or A. phagocytophilum, which also causes disease in people.  Dogs are sentinel species for human tick-borne disease, often reporting disease before humans are found to be infected in an area. Additionally, immune responses and disease outcomes are very similar between people and dogs, meaning that important lessons can be learned by sharing information between human and veterinary medicine (One Health). The University of Iowa research group has a strong record for understanding mechanisms of canine immunity to vector borne diseases.  Through these studies, they have developed important immunological tools to follow canine immune responses over time as dogs become infected and get sick. In this study, researchers will establish how the canine immune systems functions or malfunctions during clinical disease caused by Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), compared with healthy dogs that have subclinical infections.  These studies will allow investigators to understand which immune cells drive disease versus disease protection. This will also allow investigators to identify how to target the molecules the immune cells produce to alter the course of Lyme disease in all dogs.


None at this time.

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