Morris Animal Foundation Grant #DO8CA-002
Atopic dermatitis, which is skin inflammation caused by environmental allergens, affects many dogs and most will develop secondary skin infections that aggravate suffering and require antibiotic treatment. In addition to cost, repeated antibiotic use can lead to antibiotic resistance. The skin's immune system contains small antimicrobial peptides that defend the skin against infections. Humans with atopic dermatitis along with secondary bacterial infections are deficient in expression of certain antimicrobial peptide genes. This study will investigate whether allergic dogs also lack these peptides. The findings could help veterinarians predict disease risk and monitor therapies of dogs with atopic dermatitis and secondary infection.