In the past decade, several issues have emerged regarding the epidemiology of leishmaniasis in dogs, including the increased incidence of infection in endemic zones, the northward spread of the infection to nonendemic areas of Europe, and the emergence of the disease in North America.1,2 Despite the increasing spread of the infection and growing concern for canine health, veterinary approaches to the disease remain heterogeneous. Accordingly, an expert panel, the CLWG, was established in November 2005 in collaboration with the Italian Society of Veterinarians of Companion Animals.
The aim of the CLWG was to develop a scientific-based consensus approach
Objective—To determine the prevalence of perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (pANCA) in dogs with confirmed or suspected immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) or dogs infected with various vector-borne pathogens, including Rickettsia rickettsii, Bartonella henselae, Bartonella vinsonii subsp berkhoffii, Ehrlichia canis, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Leishmania infantum.
Animals—55 dogs with confirmed or suspected IMHA, 140 dogs seroreactive for vector-borne pathogens, and 62 healthy dogs and dogs seronegative for vector-borne pathogens.
Procedures—Samples were allocated to subgroups on the basis of the health status of the dogs and the degree of seroreactivity against various vector-borne pathogens. Serum samples were tested retrospectively via indirect immunofluorescence assay to determine pANCA status.
Results—26 of 55 (47%) dogs with confirmed or suspected IMHA and 67 of 140 (48%) dogs seroreactive for vector-borne pathogens had positive results when tested for pANCA. Serum samples with the highest antibody concentrations against L infantum antigen had the highest proportion (28/43 [65%]) that were positive for pANCA. One of 20 (5%) dogs seronegative for tick-borne pathogens and 8 of 22 (36%) dogs seronegative for L infantum had positive results for pANCA. One of 20 (5%) healthy dogs had serum antibodies against pANCA.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—pANCA were detected in a high percentage of dogs with IMHA and vector-borne infectious diseases. Therefore, pANCA may be a relatively nonspecific marker for dogs with inflammatory bowel disease, although they could represent a biomarker for immune-mediated diseases and infections.