Canine Health Foundation Grant #02694
Project Abstract: Environmental allergy is extremely common in dogs. Alterations of the skin barrier may lead to an altered inflammatory signal in allergic skin cells that perpetuates the inflammatory response and alters the interaction between skin cells and the external environment. Microorganisms have been shown to be more adherent on allergic compared with healthy skin. This increased adhesion on allergic skin cells has been associated with an increased susceptibility of allergic dogs to skin infections. Furthermore, an altered expression of natural defenses has been shown in allergic compared to healthy canine skin. How the interaction between microorganism and canine skin occurs and what this interaction activates in the host (canine skin) and the microorganisms is incompletely understood. Understanding which genes are activated in the host and the microbes in the early stage of adhesion is fundamental to better design treatments for skin infection in allergic dogs. The investigators will evaluate what occurs in the skin cells of allergic dogs and microbes (bacteria and yeasts) in the first hour of contact to increase our understanding of disease mechanisms in atopic dogs.