Canine procalcitonin messenger RNA expression

Sharon Kuzi, Itamar Aroch, Keren Peleg, Ohad Karnieli, Eyal Klement, Gillian Dank*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Procalcitonin is considered an acute phase protein used as both a marker of infection and prognosis in human medicine. Canine procalcitonin has been previously sequenced; however, its use as a diagnostic or prognostic tool in dogs has never been assessed. A quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assay for canine procalcitonin messenger RNA (mRNA) was developed. Whole blood samples were collected from ill and healthy dogs. RNA was extracted and the real-time PCR was assessed. The patients' diagnoses, complete blood cell count, and differential leukocyte count results were recorded. Based on the diagnosis, dogs were divided into 5 groups: inflammatory, infectious, neoplastic, other diseases, and healthy controls. Procalcitonin mRNA expression and the hematological measures were compared between groups, and their correlations were assessed. Procalcitonin mRNA expression was assessed in 70 dogs, including infectious (17), noninfectious inflammatory (17), neoplastic (18), other diseases (7), and healthy controls (11), and was significantly (P < 0.001) higher in all ill dogs versus controls. Procalcitonin may therefore be considered an acutephase protein in dogs. However, there were no significant differences in procalcitonin mRNA expression between ill dog groups and no correlations between its expression levels and hematological measures. In 5 dogs of all disease categories, procalcitonin mRNA expression was measured twice during the course of disease. The changes in its levels were in agreement with the clinical evaluation of improvement or deterioration, suggesting a possible prognostic value.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)629-633
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgement. This work was funded by a grant from the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine Clinical Research Fund.


  • Acute phase protein
  • Dogs
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Neoplasia


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