Canine atopic dermatitis

Published on June 30, 2019   48 min

A selection of talks on Immunology

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Hello, my name is Mark Craig. I'm a veterinary dermatologist. In 1993, I founded Re-Fur-All Referrals, a veterinary dermatology referral service in the South of England, the Midlands, and Wales. I'm particularly interested in skin allergies. I'm fascinated by the explosion of scientific research on the association of the intestinal microbiota with the immune system and an enormous range of diseases. Today, I'm going to present an overview of "Canine Atopic Dermatitis", one of the commonest yet most poorly understood disorders seen in small animal veterinary practice.
Canine atopic dermatitis, CAD, is currently defined as a genetically predisposed, inflammatory and pruritic allergic skin disease with characteristic clinical features associated with IgE, most commonly directed against environmental allergens. It's very common, though its true prevalence in the canine population is unknown and often very challenging and frustrating to treat.
The pathogenesis is multifactorial, extremely complex and incompletely understood. Genomic studies have unearthed numerous genes probably involved via their effects on immunity, skin barrier formation, apoptosis and inflammation. There does appear to be a hereditary predisposition, but no one gene is responsible. There's a strong breed predilection with Golden Retrievers, West Harlem White Terriers, German Shepherd dogs, Cocker Spaniels, Boxers, and French bulldogs commonly affected. However, this breed predilection varies throughout the world, and different genetic mutations may be relevant to different breeds in specific geographical areas. Genetic interactions are extraordinarily complex. So even with the advent of new genetic technologies such as genome-wide association studies, it's unlikely that screening and breeding programs, for example, could ever be successful in eliminating atopic dermatitis. However, these new technologies may allow us to develop new more targeted therapies.