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Forums » Internal Medicine - Small Animal

Tick Borne Infectious Disease and Inflammation

    • 144 posts
    May 4, 2016 7:32 PM EDT

    In our webinar on Tick Borne Infectious Diseases - Clinical and Zoonotic Implications, one of the participants asked a question that went unanswered during the live session. I reached out to Dr. Breitschwerdt for his reply.

    Question: What is the relationship between exposure to a vector borne disease and a weird immunologic long term inflammatory response?

    Dr. Breitschwerdt's reply: 

    This is not an easy question to address for many reasons. In context of clinical evaluation of immunoglobulin response Bartonellosis, Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis can induce a polyclonal or monoclonal antibody response that resolves with effective treatment of the dog. 

    In the context of immune suppression secondary to chronic intravascular tick borne pathogens, Bartonella suppresses immune response and in contrast to the older literature, we did not document changes in immune parameters with ehrlichiosis. This is also an area that is understudied in the context of naturally-occurring tick borne diseases of dogs, as it is hard to justify charging individual clients for immune function testing on the basis of current knowledge and clinical decision making.