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Evaluation of the bacterial microflora of the conjunctival sac of healthy dogs and dogs with atopic dermatitis

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The aim of this case–control study was to evaluate and compare the bacterial microflora from the conjunctival sac of dogs with atopic dermatitis and healthy dogs. Twenty‐one atopic dogs without clinical and/or cytopathological signs of bacterial blepharoconjunctivitis and 21 breed‐matched healthy dogs were enrolled. Under topical anaesthesia, the inferior conjunctival sac of one eye was scraped twice. Material was collected with a Kimura spatula, spread over a slide and stained with a Diff Quick®‐type stain (Medion Diagnostics GmbH, Düdingen, Switzerland) for cytological examination. An area of 0.5 cm2 was examined at ×1000 magnification, and the types and numbers of cells and bacteria were recorded. A bacterial swab was collected and inoculated into culture media for the growth of aerobic bacteria. Before sampling, each atopic dog was evaluated for severity of cutaneous lesions, pruritus and conjunctival inflammation. Significant differences were observed between atopic and healthy dogs for the presence of bacteria on cytology (P = 0.015), keratinized (P = 0.001) and nonkeratinized epithelial cells (P =0.013), eosinophils (P =0.019) and lymphocytes (P =0.008). Bacteria were recovered from 12 atopic dogs and three healthy dogs (P =0.004). Staphylococcus pseudintermedius was the most commonly isolated species in atopic dogs (seven of 12). In atopic dogs, no significant relation was found between conjunctival bacterial colonization (on cytology and culture) and the severity of any of the clinical parameters. This study suggests differences in conjunctival bacterial colonization and cytological features between atopic and healthy dogs.
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Language: English

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Studio Dermatologico Veterinario, Milano, Italy 2: Sezione di Microbiologia e Immunologia Veterinaria-DIPAV, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy 3: Settore Ricerca e Innovazione Azienda USL, Rimini, Italy 4: Hospital Ars Veterinaria and UNIVET S.L. Servicio de diagnóstico dermatológico, Barcelona, Spain

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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