Acute phase proteins (APPs) have been proposed as useful markers for the diagnosis and monitoring of treatment of dogs infected by Leishmania infantum. However, the kinetics and behavior of these proteins in canine leishmaniosis is still unknown. The aim of this study was to monitor the kinetics of APPs in dogs experimentally infected with L. infantum, before, during and after therapy against canine leishmaniosis. Levels of serum haptoglobin, serum amyloid A and C-reactive protein from 6 infected beagles, positive by both PCR and parasite culture, were monitored for 7 months post-infection. The dogs were then treated for 3 months with allopurinol (20. mg. mg/kg/day PO), and their response to therapy was followed for 11 additional months. Levels of Immunoglobulins G and M were recorded during these 21 months and compared. Experimental infection with L. infantum amastigotes induced an increase in all APPs studied which was statistically significant 2 months after infection for all proteins. Clinical recovery was accompanied by a significant decrease of all APPs 1 month after the beginning of treatment. However, differences were found between the APPs in both magnitude and duration of serum level elevations. The increase in total IgG and IgM was delayed in comparison to APPs and contrarily to the APPs, these immunoglobulins did not significantly decrease with treatment. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that APPs could be used as early markers for disease as well as for monitoring the response to treatment in canine leishmaniosis.
- Acute phase proteins