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Immunostimulatory liposome-nucleic acid complexes in allergen-specific immunotherapy of dogs with AD
Specific immunotherapy is known to be an effective and safe therapy in canine atopic dermatitis. Its efficacy is described up to 77 percent. But what happens with the `non-responders`? Is this new type of immunotherapy a promising option? A very interesting pilot study which also has been presented as a short communication on the World Congress of Veterinary Dermatology in Vienna last year.

This pilot study evaluated the effects of immunostimulatory liposome-plasmid-DNA complexes combined with specific allergens for immunotherapy of refractory canine atopic dermatitis.

Seven dogs with previously diagnosed atopic dermatitis and unsatisfactory response to at least 12 months of conventional allergen-specific immunotherapy underwent a series of six intradermal injections (weeks 0, 2, 4, 6, 10 and 14), with patient-specific allergen extracts contained in cationic liposome-DNA complexes.

Degree of pruritus was assessed on a visual analogue scale. Lesion scores were determined using the Canine Atopic Dermatitis Extent and Severity Index (CADESI) and medication usage was recorded at weeks 0 and 14.

Canine cytokine mRNA expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells collected prior to treatment and at the completion of the study was determined for IFN-, IL-4, TNF and IL-10 genes using quantitative reverse transcription competitive polymerase chain reaction.

Repeated intradermal injections of specific allergens incorporated into liposome-nucleic acid complexes were well tolerated in all seven dogs.

There was a significant improvement in pruritus scores (P = 0.0277) and concurrent significant decrease in IL-4 production (P = 0.0428) at the completion of the trial compared to pretreatment values.

Medication scores, CADESI and production of other cytokines did not change significantly with treatment.

These early results suggest that antigen-specific immunotherapy using a novel liposome-nucleic acid complex vaccine may be beneficial for treatment of established atopic dermatitis in dogs using lower antigen doses. Further investigations in larger numbers of dogs with earlier stages of disease are warranted.


Source: MUELLER, RALF S., VEIR, JULIA, FIESELER, KATHRYN V. & DOW, STEVEN W. (2005): Use of immunostimulatory liposome-nucleic acid complexes in allergen-specific immunotherapy of dogs with refractory atopic dermatitis a pilot study. In: Veterinary Dermatology 16 (1), 61-68.





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