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Dermatology grant recipients examine veterinary otitis, atopic dermatitis


One veterinary team studying whether clients play role in canine otitis.

Two research teams have recently been awarded funding to study dermatologic problems in companion animals. One team, made up of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and Johns Hopkins University, will pursue research in Pseudomonas otitis in dogs. A second team at the University of Minnesota will examine the potential for a new drug target in atopic dermatitis. The grants were the first awarded by Zoetis as part of its Excellence in Dermatology Research Grant program.

About the proposals

The Penn-Johns Hopkins team is using its research funding to conduct an epidemiologic evaluation of Pseudomonas otitis in dogs—specifically, that pet owners may transmit the pathogen to their dogs. "Pseudomonas aeruginosa is commonly implicated in severe or chronic cases of otitis externa and otitis media in dogs, and the extensive antimicrobial resistance patterns of most isolates create major therapeutic challenges," says Daniel Morris, BS, DVM, MPH, DACVD, of Penn's veterinary school. "In our investigation of the epidemiology of Pseudomonas otitis, the data generated will be used to address two primary hypotheses: first, that the source of P. aeruginosa in canine otitis is the environment (most likely water and other fluids), and second, that the human companions of these dogs are the vehicles through which transmission and inoculation occur."

The University of Minnesota's research program is titled "A new drug target for improved epidermal barrier function in atopic dermatitis."

"Increased susceptibility to infections is a hallmark of atopic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin disorder that affects approximately 10 to 20 percent of dogs," says Sheila Torres, BS, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVD. "This increased susceptibility is due in part to impaired epidermal barrier function, which leads to enhanced access of pathogenic bacteria to deeper epidermal layers."

The objective of the Minnesota project is to evaluate the relevance of the transient receptor potential channel (TRP) TRPV1 as a drug target for treatment of canine atopic dermatitis, Torres adds.

About the program

Excellence in Dermatology is a resource of clinical information and education materials for veterinarians, Zoetis says. It's designed to provide clinically relevant, evidence-based knowledge, along with insights from leading dermatology experts.

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