Page 71 - University of Pretoria RESEARCH REVIEW 2016
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Blood clotting abnormalities in inflammatory disease conditions, specifically related to the risk of
organ microthrombosis, are still largely underexplored yet are highly relevant in animal diseases. Using canine babesiosis (a parasite disease causing biliary and tick-bite fever or bosluiskoors) as a model, Professor Amelia Goddard has gained insight into the complex interaction between haemostasis and inflammation, as well as the host response to inflammation.
Professor Goddard forms part of a group of researchers in the Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies in the Faculty of Veterinary School
at UP interested in the inflammatory-haemostasis- metabolic axis in several infectious and non- infectious inflammatory conditions. The group’s focus is on the progression of systemic inflammation and they hope to identify biomarkers that would assist
in prognosis and in disease outcome. Professor Goddard’s research results have established that dogs with clinical babesiosis, caused by Babesia rossi, suffer from a blood-clotting disorder triggered by
an overwhelming pro-inflammatory host response, which may result in death following organ failure as
a result of microthrombosis. The activation of blood platelets also appears to play a central role in the host response to inflammation. The research findings related to the presence of excessive concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines, specifically in dogs that died of babesiosis, were published in 2016 (Goddard et al. PLoS ONE, 11(3)).
The research findings have contributed towards further research in comparative medicine and translational research, and will inform future research efforts in several important ways. For example, the potential use of canine babesiosis as an appropriate model to investigate Falciparum malaria, regarded as the deadliest parasite in humans, is important. There is also sufficient evidence in the literature to suggest that the blood vessel wall plays
a critical role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases. Thus, it would be important to investigate the presence of endothelial cell markers in dogs with babesiosis (i.e. cell markers in the thin layer of cells that forms an interface between circulating blood and the rest of the vessel wall), and their correlation with previously identified biomarkers, as well as with disease outcome.
Emergency treatment of a dog with biliary.
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