|The purpose of this study was to determine the percentage of dogs with spontaneous atopic dermatitis that show a positive patch test reaction to a commercially available 20% house dust mites mixture containing equal parts of Dermatophagoides farinae and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus in white petrolatum.
In addition, we evaluated whether skin reactions induced after the epicutaneous application of house dust mites were clinically and histologically similar to naturally developed skin lesions of dogs with atopic dermatitis.
Furthermore, we investigated if the reactions induced by house dust mites were true allergic reactions by comparing them to atopic lesional skin and to patch test reactions induced by an irritant substance (sodium lauryl sulphate).
White petrolatum alone and nonlesional skin sites were used as negative controls.
Macroscopic and microscopic evaluations of the patch test and control sites were performed in a blinded fashion at 48 and 72 h after patch test application.
Microscopic results were evaluated in a qualitative and quantitative manner. A chi-square test for homogenicity was used for the quantitative analysis to compare the proportion of each dermal inflammatory cell type among positive histopathological tested sites. P values 0.05 were considered significant.
The study included 12 healthy nonatopic dogs and 13 dogs with nonseasonal atopic dermatitis. None of the nonatopic dogs reacted to house dust mites and white petrolatum.
Ten (77%) of the 13 atopic dogs reacted macroscopically and histopathologically to house dust mites.
Macroscopic reactions induced by house dust mites were characterized by erythema, oedema and papules. The macroscopic reactions induced by house dust mites were identical to lesional skin in 20% of the dogs and identical to reactions induced by sodium lauryl sulphate in 40% of the dogs.
Qualitative histopathological findings showed that the reactions induced by house dust mites were similar to atopic lesional skin in 80% of the dogs and were similar to sodium lauryl sulphate in 20% of the dogs.
Quantitative analyses showed that the proportion of neutrophils in reactions induced by sodium lauryl sulphate was significantly higher (P < 0.05) compared to house dust mites reactions, which could be a differentiator factor between an allergic and an irritant reaction.
These results showed that the epicutaneous application of house dust mites in dogs with atopic dermatitis induced histopathological lesions similar to spontaneous atopic lesions in dogs.
Therefore, this study demonstrated that house dust mites penetrated the skin of dogs with atopic dermatitis and induced an inflammatory response that resembled a true allergic reaction.
Source: Nogueira, S. A. F., Torres, S. M. F., Horne, K. & Jessen, C. (2004): Patch test reactions to house dust mites in dogs with atopic dermatitis. In: Veterinary Dermatology 15 (s1), 4-4.