News : 2013 : November

New Publications on Acute Phase Proteins in Exotic Animals

Acute phase proteins (APP) were first identified in the early 1900’s as early reactants to infectious disease. They are now understood to be an integral part of the acute phase response which is the cornerstone of innate immunity. APP have been shown to be valuable biomarkers as increases can occur with inflammation, infection, neoplasia, stress, and trauma. All animals – from fish to mammals – have demonstrable APP but the type of major APP differs by species. While the primary application of these proteins in a clinical setting is prognostication, studies in animals have demonstrated relevance to diagnosis and detection and monitoring for subclinical disease. APP have been well documented in laboratory, companion, and large animals. It has only been recently that investigations have been initiated in avian, exotic, and wildlife species.

In a recent issue of the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, Dr. Carolyn Cray discusses the use of these biomarkers in exotic pets. The review paper works from a base of the science of acute phase proteins and the proven application in veterinary medicine (in more mainstream species) with a summary of the current literature in rabbits, rodents, ferrets, reptiles, and avian species. In a separate article, Dr. Cray describes our results regarding C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in rabbits with suspected E. cuniculi infection. First presented at the 2012 AEMV meeting, the study demonstrates a 10-fold mean increase in CRP in animals with suspected infection. Clinical cases are presented to reflect possible applications of this test as an adjunct to sometimes less than clear serological titers found during and after infection.

C. Cray. Biomarkers of inflammation in exotic pets. Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, 22:245-250, 2013.

C. Cray, M. Rodriguez, and Y. Fernandez. Acute phase protein levels in rabbits with suspected Encephalitozoon cuniculi infection. Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, 22:280-286, 2013.