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Ciência Rural

On-line version ISSN 1678-4596


SANCHEZ, Irma Ximena Barbosa et al. Apoptosis in experimental infection with Ehrlichia canis in domestic dogs. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2012, vol.42, n.8, pp.1457-1463. ISSN 1678-4596.

Some dogs infected with Ehrlichia canis become asymptomatic while others develop an acute illness followed by quick death. Apoptosis may be an important mechanism for elimination of intracellular pathogens. Also, Ehrlichia sp. and Anaplasma sp. can modulate apoptosis to extend their survival. To evaluate the role of apoptosis in canine ehrlichiosis, 7 dogs were assigned into 2 groups, one with 4 animals inoculated intravenously with blood infected with Ehrlichia canis (Jaboticabal isolate) and a control with 3 dogs, inoculated with sterile PBS. Blood samples were collected weekly and 35 days post-inoculation to confirm the infection by nPCR and immunofluorescence. Thirty-six days after inoculation the animals were euthanized and samples from spleen, lymph nodes, kidney and liver were collected to carry out the TUNEL technique and immunohistochemistry (Bcl-2, Bax). Inoculated animals became positive for E. canis by nPCR already in the second week and by immunofluorescence in the third week after inoculation. The control group showed negative for E. canis in all tests. The TUNEL reaction showed a higher incidence of apoptosis in the inoculated group, with stronger labeling in the spleen and lymph nodes. The results of immunohistochemistry for Bcl-2 and Bax suggest that the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis is not important in the analyzed organs.

Keywords : apoptosis; Ehrlichia canis; n-PCR; IFA; TUNEL; Bcl-2; Bax.

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