Background: Canine monocytic ehrlichiosis (CME), caused by Ehrlichia canis, is an important tick-borne disease of global importance. Currently, limited information is available on the diagnostic and prognostic value of acute phase proteins (APPs) in dogs naturally infected with E. canis. Hypothesis: APPs may be useful indicators of the clinical phase of CME and predictive of the clinical outcome (death or survival). Animals: Fifty-six dogs naturally infected with E. canis and 7 clinically healthy control dogs. Methods: C-reactive protein (CRP), serum amyloid A (SAA), haptoglobin (Hp), and albumin concentrations determined on admission were retrospectively compared among 27 dogs with nonmyelosuppressive CME, 29 dogs with myelosuppressive CME and 7 healthy dogs. Diagnosis of CME was based on clinical and clinicopathological findings, seropositivity to E. canis, polymerase chain reaction amplification of E. canis-specific 16S rDNA, microscopic observation of Ehrlichia sp. morulae in blood monocytes or some combination of these. Results: Mean concentrations of CRP, SAA, and Hp were significantly higher in the myelosuppressed dogs compared with the other groups, but no significant differences were found in the concentration of albumin. Survival analysis of the affected animals indicated that APP concentrations were not associated with clinical outcome; the latter was strongly associated with pancytopenia (odds ratio for death 22.7) and neutropenia (odds ratio for death 7.7). Conclusions and Clinical Importance: CRP, SAA, and Hp serum concentrations on admission are useful indicators of the clinical phase of CME, but are not useful predictors of clinical outcome.
- Ehrlichia canis