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Open Access Successful Cyclosporine Treatment for Atopic Dermatitis in a Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta)

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A juvenile (1 year old ) female rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) developed a chronic active skin condition characterized by pruritus, erythema, alopecia, scaling, exfoliation, and lichenification. Lesions were limited to the ventrum, specifically rostral mandible and neck, axilla and inguinal regions, distal extremities, and interdigital regions. Differential diagnoses included infection, dietary deficiency, metabolic abnormality, endocrinopathy, and immunological injury. Diagnostic tests included complete hemogram, serum chemistry, skin scrapes for ectoparasite detection, hair plucks for dermatophyte culture, and a serum-based hypersensitivity panel. All results were within normal limits. Dermal biopsies revealed lesions consistent with active allergic dermatitis, and a diagnosis of atopic dermatitis was made. Oral cyclosporine (5 mg/kg daily) rapidly eliminated clinical evidence of dermatitis. Histologically, lesions resolved after 12 months of treatment. Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition for which there are neither pathognomonic clinical or diagnostic features nor a single successful therapy. Basic criteria such as pruritus, lichenification, a chronic course, and history of allergies strongly support the diagnosis. One successful therapeutic agent is a macrolide calcineurin inhibitor, cyclosporine. It represents a safer class of immunomodulatory drugs than corticosteroids and provides targeted alteration of lymphocyte function. To our knowledge this case represents the first reported successful treatment of atopic dermatitis in a nonhuman primate utilizing cyclosporine.

Document Type: Case Report

Affiliations: 1: The National Institute of Biotechnology of the Negev, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel 84105 2: Section of Comparative Medicine, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8016 3: Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8016

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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