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Immunomodulation and immunodefiency
In many diseases, especially skin diseases, alterations in the immune systems are suspected. This recently published article gives an excellent overview about these conditions and there relation to selected skin diseases of dogs and cats.

Immunodeficiency states are uncommon and may be associated with a subnormal or down-regulated immune system, including humoral deficiencies, such as IgA, and abnormal lymphocyte or neutrophil function.
Establishing a causal relationship between a skin disease and presumed immunodeficient state has been difficult due to the rarity of such conditions, and the limited nature of the techniques used to characterise the immune system response.

Severe combined immunodeficiency in dogs is a well characterised primary immunodeficiency state involving lymphocytes; retrovirus infection in cats may lead to an acquired immunodeficient state with some association with certain dermatological conditions although it remains unclear that infection is causally linked with disease.

Immunomodulation usually implies stimulating the immune system along a beneficial pathway. Such a therapeutic approach may involve a wide variety of agents, for example intravenous immunoglobulin.

There are few randomised controlled trials with veterinary patients that unequivocally demonstrate beneficial responses to immunomodulatory agents.
Interferons are cytokines of major interest in human and veterinary medicine for their antiviral, anti-tumour and immunomodulatory effects. The advent of veterinary-licensed products containing recombinant interferon may enable demonstration of the efficacy of interferons for conditions such as canine papillomatosis and feline eosinophilic granuloma complex.

Canine pyoderma has been treated with a number of presumed immunomodulatory agents with limited success. With more detailed knowledge of the pathogenesis of pyoderma it may be possible to develop efficacious immunomodulators.

Source: Foster, Aiden P. (2004): Immunomodulation and immunodeficiency. In. Veterinary Dermatology 15 (2), 115-126.




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