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  • Author or Editor: A. Rick Alleman x
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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether Haemobartonella canis and Mycoplasma haemofelis (formerly known as H felis [large form]) can be differentiated by use of comparative analysis of gene sequences.

Sample Population—Blood samples obtained from 3 dogs infected with H canis and 2 cats infected with M haemofelis.

Procedure—The partial 16S rDNA and ribonuclease P RNA (RNase P) genes were amplified, cloned, and sequenced in blood samples obtained from H canis-infected dogs and M haemofelis-infected cats. The DNA sequences were subjected to comparative analysis.

Results—The 16S rDNA sequences of H canis and M haemofelis were nearly identical (homology of 99.3 to 99.7%). In contrast, RNase P gene sequences had a lower degree of sequence homology between the 2 organisms (94.3 to 95.5%).

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceHaemobartonella canis and M haemofelis are not identical organisms. Molecular differentiation of H canis and M haemofelis is more clearly evident by use of comparative analysis of RNase P gene sequences than by comparative analysis of 16S rDNA gene sequences. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1385–1388)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Case Description—A 5-year-old neutered male mixed-breed dog was evaluated by a veterinarian because of a 4-week history of progressive lethargy and poor appetite; the dog was then examined at a referral hospital.

Clinical Findings—Hyperglobulinemia was identified via serum biochemical analyses performed before and after arrival at the hospital. Lysis of sternebrae 1 and 2 and sternal lymphadenopathy were detected radiographically. Fine-needle aspirates were collected from the affected sternebrae and lymph node for cytologic examination; findings were consistent with pyogranulomatous inflammation associated with fungal infiltrates. Geomyces organisms were identified via microbial culture of sternebral aspirates.

Treatment and Outcome—Treatment consisted of oral administration of itraconazole. After 6 months, remodeling of the affected sternebrae and resolution of sternebral lysis were evident radiographically. Geomyces organisms and pyogranulomatous infiltrates persisted despite clinical improvement. Treatment with itraconazole was continued for an additional 3 months.

Clinical Relevance—Infection with Geomyces organisms is typically localized to the skin and nail beds. In the dog of this report, systemic dissemination of Geomyces organisms resulted in lysis of the first 2 sternebrae. Cytologic examination of fine-needle aspirates and microbial culture of samples of the affected sternebrae were important diagnostic tests for successful identification of the organism. Despite 6 months of itraconazole administration and evidence of clinical improvement, fungal organisms persisted in the dog's affected sternebrae. Practitioners should include Geomyces infection among the differential diagnoses for suspected systemic mycosis and should perform cytologic examination and microbial culture of affected tissue throughout treatment of affected dogs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate CSF in horses with confirmed West Nile virus encephalomyelitis.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—30 horses.

Procedure—Results of CSF analyses from horses with acute neurologic signs attributed to West Nile virus infection that was confirmed by immunoglobulin M antibody capture ELISA were reviewed and analyzed.

Results—Among 30 CSF samples, findings in 8 (27%) were within reference ranges and in 22 (73%) were abnormal. Among the 22 abnormal samples, mononuclear pleocytosis was found in 16 (73%) and high protein concentration with nucleated cell count within reference range was found in 6 (27%) samples. A predominance of lymphocytes was found in 11 of 16 samples with mononuclear pleocytosis, and a predominance of large mononuclear cells was found in 5 of 16 samples. Sensitivities of analyses of CSF obtained from the lumbosacral and atlanto-occipital regions of the spinal cord were 89 and 50%, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that in horses with acute onset of neurologic signs caused by West Nile virus encephalomyelitis, findings in the CSF are likely to be abnormal, mononuclear pleocytosis with lymphocytic predominance may be most commonly observed, and CSF collected from the lumbosacral region may be abnormal more commonly than CSF collected from the atlanto-occipital region. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:1303–1305)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of a commercially available in-clinic ELISA for detection of heartworm infection and tick-borne diseases in dogs.

Sample Population—846 serum, plasma, or blood samples obtained from dogs.

Procedures—Samples were evaluated via the in-clinic ELISA to detect antibodies against Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia canis, and Borrelia burgdorferi and Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm) antigen. True infection or immunologic status of samples was assessed by use of results of necropsy, an antigen assay for D immitis, and immunofluorescence assay or western blot analysis for antibodies against B burgdorferi, E canis, and A phagocytophilum.

Results—Sensitivity and specificity of the in-clinic ELISA for detection of heartworm antigen (99.2% and 100%, respectively), antibodies against B burgdorferi (98.8% and 100%, respectively), and antibodies against E canis (96.2% and 100%, respectively) were similar to results for a similar commercial ELISA. In samples obtained from dogs in the northeast and upper Midwest of the United States, sensitivity and specificity of the in-clinic ELISA for antibodies against Anaplasma spp were 99.1% and 100%, respectively, compared with results for an immunofluorescence assay. Samples from 2 dogs experimentally infected with the NY18 strain of A phagocytophilum were tested by use of the in-clinic ELISA, and antibodies against A phagocytophilum were detected by 8 days after inoculation. Antibodies against Anaplasma platys in experimentally infected dogs cross-reacted with the A phagocytophilum analyte. Coinfections were identified in several of the canine serum samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The commercially available in-clinic ELISA could be used by veterinarians to screen dogs for heartworm infection and for exposure to tick-borne pathogens.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine blood cell morphologic characteristics and hematologic and plasma biochemical reference ranges for iguanas housed in a warm indoor and outdoor environment with regular exposure to direct sunlight.

Design—Original study.

Animals—51 clinically normal iguanas (18 males, 25 females, and 8 juveniles) housed in 3 Florida locations.

Procedure—Blood was collected from the coccygeal or ventral abdominal vein. Any samples that had obvious hemolysis or clot formation were not used. Leukocyte counts were determined manually; other hematologic values were obtained by use of a commercially available cell counter. Plasma biochemical values were determined by use of a spectrophotometric chemistry analyzer. Blood smears were stained with Wright-Giemsa and cytochemical stains for morphologic and cytochemical evaluation.

Results—Hematologic ranges were generally higher in this study than previously reported. Thrombocytes were variable in appearance between individuals and sometimes difficult to distinguish from lymphocytes on a Wright-Giemsa preparation. Concentrations of calcium, phosphorus, total protein, globulins, and cholesterol were significantly higher, and the albumin:globulin ratio was significantly lower, in healthy gravid females than in male or nongravid female iguanas. Nongravid females had significantly higher calcium and cholesterol concentrations, compared with males. The calcium:phosphorus ratio was > 1 in all iguanas. Gravid females had a calcium phosphorus product ranging between 210 and 800. Intracytoplasmic inclusions were identified within the erythrocytes of some iguanas.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hematologic ranges for iguanas in this study are higher than those reported for iguanas. Sex and age of the iguana should be considered when evaluating biochemical values. Healthy ovulating and gravid females may have significantly increased electrolyte and protein concentrations, but maintain a calcium:phosphorus ratio > 1. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:915–921)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association