Round-up of the recent literature on laboratory procedures and diagnostics - Veterinary Practice
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Round-up of the recent literature on laboratory procedures and diagnostics

A look through the latest literature: 6 of 37

A urine dipstick test for the
detection of urinary tract
infections in cats and dogs

Winnie Ybarra and others,
University of California, Davis

Bacterial urinary tract infections are
common in older cats and will also
occur in around 14% of dogs during
their lifetime. Urine collection and quantitative
aerobic bacterial culture provide a
definitive diagnostic test. However, on
economic grounds, practitioners will
often base their presumptive diagnosis
on clinical findings and begin empirical
antimicrobial treatment.

The authors
evaluated the performance of a urine
dipstick paddle test for the diagnosis
and identification of UTIs in both
species. Such tests have been used for
many years to detect human cystitis
and a product has been developed with
paddles embedded with two standard
culture media which support the
growth of the main pathogens causing disease in dogs and cats.

Two investigators conducted tests on 207 urine specimens and their
results were compared with standard
laboratory cultures. The sensitivity
and specificity of the paddle test were
97.3% and 98.6%, respectively for the first investigator and 89.1% and
99.3% for the second. The paddle test
was therefore a sensitive screening
test for bacterial UTIs but its ability
to correctly identify the pathogen was
inferior to that of standard culture

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical
244 (7): 814-819.

Comparison of serum amyloid
A and C-reactive protein
as systemic in ammation

Michelle Christensen and others,
University of Copenhagen,

C-reactive protein and serum
amyloid A are two major acute
phase proteins that show marked
increases in concentration in patients
with systemic inflammation. The
authors compared the diagnostic
performance of automated assays
for both proteins in the detection of
the condition in a retrospective study
using samples from 500 dogs.

There were significant correlations and
excellent diagnostic agreement between
the two biomarkers. But the serum
amyloid A assay detected a wider
range of concentrations and had a
significantly superior overall diagnostic

Canadian Veterinary Journal 55 (2): 161-

Correlation of lab assay
results with ultrasound findings in cats with

Samuel Oppliger and others,
University of Zurich, Switzerland

Pancreatitis appears to be a common
condition in cats but ante-mortem
diagnosis is difficult because of the
vague clinical signs and non-specific
biochemical findings. The authors
assessed the level of agreement
between a feline pancreas-specific
lipase assay and a colorimetric lipase
assay with ultrasonography findings in
161 cats with suspected pancreatitis.

There was substantial agreement
between the results of the two lipase tests but only a fair degree of
agreement with the ultrasonography findings. The study could not
determine whether the lipase assays
or the imaging modality provided the
more accurate test results and so the findings of each should be interpreted
with caution.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical
244 (9): 1,060-1,065.

Stability of bovine viral
diarrhoea virus 1 nucleic
acid stored under different

Julia Ridpath and others, National
Animal Disease Center, Ames, Iowa

The accuracy of methods used to
identify bovine viral diarrhoea virus in bovine foetuses may be affected by
the breakdown of foetal tissues during
collection and storage. The authors
investigated the stability of viral nucleic
acid in aborted foetal tissue exposed to different environmental conditions,
as measured by polymerase chain

Under the conditions tested,
brain samples showed higher stability
than the alternative sample sites, skin,
muscle, ear and two different pooled
organ samples. The impact of faecal
contamination increased following
storage, suggesting that effort should
be made to reduce environmental
contamination before archiving.

Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic
26 (1): 6-9.

Total serum bilirubin as
a prognostic factor in
idiopathic canine chronic

Aida Gomez Selgas and others,
Animal Health Trust, Newmarket

In human medicine, total serum bilirubin is commonly used as a
prognostic factor in chronic hepatitis
but there are no previous reports
assessing the value of this parameter in
studies of the equivalent condition in
dogs. The authors examined samples
from 39 dogs with histologically
confirmed cases of idiopathic canine
chronic hepatitis and showed that
elevated total serum bilirubin was
negatively associated with mean
survival time.

Multivariate analysis
identified ascites as another negative
prognostic factor, while increased
bodyweight was also associated with
early deaths, possibly due to the effect
of the ascites.

Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic
26 (2): 246-251.

Serial viscoelastic and
traditional coagulation
testing in equine
gastrointestinal disease

Kira Epstein and others, University
of Georgia

Horses with gastrointestinal disease
have a high incidence of abnormalities
in both coagulation and brinolysis.
The authors compared the results
of thromboelastography (with and
without tissue factor activation),
Sonoclot coagulation analysis and
traditional coagulations panels in
121 emergency admissions for
gastrointestinal disease.

with gastrointestinal disease had
dynamic changes in coagulation and brinolysis during the first four days
of hospitalisation that were correlated
with disease category, systemic
inflammatory response syndrome,
complications and fatalities. However,
the observed changes in the particular
laboratory parameters investigated
were small and may have only
moderate predictive value.

Journal of Veterinary Emergency and
Critical Care
23 (5): 504-516.

Use of a real-time PCR assay
in controlling an outbreak of
bovine ephemeral fever

Deborah Finlaison and others,
Department of Primary Industries,
Narellan, New South Wales

Bovine ephemeral fever is a mosquito-
borne viral disease of cattle in
subtropical and temperate areas of
Australia, Asia, the Middle East and
Africa. Until recently, its diagnosis
relied on clinical signs and relatively
slow serological testing.

The authors
describe the application of a real-
time polymerase chain reaction assay
during an outbreak in New South
Wales and northern Victoria in 2009-
10. They conclude that the test offers
veterinarians and cattle owners rapid
confirmation of infection within one
to two days and provides real-time
information about the presence of
disease in a district.

Australian Veterinary Journal 92 (1-2):

Comparison of methods for
bronchoalveolar lavage fluid
collection in dogs

Katharine Woods and others, University of Guelph, Ontario

Bronchoalveolar lavage is a minimally
invasive method for evaluating the
main airways in patients with chronic
cough, pulmonary neoplasia or
unexplained abnormalities on thoracic

The authors compare the appearance of fluid obtained by
manual aspiration with a hand-held
syringe to that obtained by suction
pump aspiration. In 13 healthy dogs
examined under general anaesthesia,
the suction pump aspiration method
resulted in a significantly higher
percentage of fluid retrieval and
samples with a higher total nucleated
cell count than the manual technique.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 75
(1): 85-90.

Detection of prion protein
in retina tissue samples in
sheep and cattle

Jodi Smith and Justin Greenlee, National Animal Disease Center, Ames, Iowa

Conventional tests for diagnosing transmissible encephalopathies in
livestock involve immunohistochemical
or Western blot analysis of abnormal
prion proteins in brain tissue. Taking
post-mortem samples from the retina
may offer potential advantages in
easier access and in minimising risk
of exposure to contaminated material
for those collecting the samples.

authors compared the results of
enzyme immunoassay examinations
of retinal tissue from sheep with
experimentally induced TSEs with
those from standard assays. Their findings suggest that retina samples
may be a useful method for rapid
screening of animals with neurological
signs suggestive of TSEs.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 75
(3): 268-272.

Study on a rapid test for
anticoagulant rodenticide
poisoning in dogs

Stephanie Istvan and others, North Carolina State University

Anticoagulant rodenticide toxicosis is a major cause of morbidity and
mortality in small animals. The authors
assessed a point-of-care lateral ow
analyser for the detection of various
rodenticide compounds. Serum
samples from a healthy dog spiked with
one of six different compounds were tested and the results interpreted by
three observers.

There was complete
agreement between the three on their findings. But while the assay detected
warfarin at concentrations below the
manufacturers’ recommended limit
of detection, it was unable to detect
any of the other and more commonly
used second generation anticoagulant

Journal of Veterinary Emergency and
Critical Care
24 (2): 168-173.

Skin surface sampling
methods in canine superficial
bacterial pyoderma

Philippa Ravens and others, Small Animal Specialist Hospital, North Ryde, NSW

Superficial bacterial pyoderma is a
common secondary complication
in various canine skin diseases.
It is usually diagnosed by visual
examination of cutaneous lesions
or the results of impression smears.
Bacterial culture is often considered
to have limited additional diagnostic
value but may be useful in guiding
antimicrobial therapy.

The authors
compared results from three skin
surface sampling methods – a dry
cotton swab, a saline-moistened swab
and skin surface scraping – together
with the antimicrobial sensitivity of isolates from 27 dogs with CSBP. The
staphylococcal isolates obtained were
all susceptible to common empirical
antimicrobials. Each sampling method
produced similar results and may be
equally suitable for obtaining samples
for culture.

Australian Veterinary Journal 92 (5): 149-

Evaluation of an angiotensin I
and II rapid pressor response
test in healthy cats

Amanda Erickson Coleman and others, University of Georgia

Agents that blockade the renin-
angiotensin-aldosterone system are
used as treatments for systemic arterial
hypertension. Exogenous angiotensin
challenge with continuous blood
pressure measurement is a commonly
used method in human medicine for
evaluating potential drug candidates.
The authors investigated an angiotensin
I and II rapid pressor response test in healthy cats.

They found that this
test elicited dose-dependent, transient
increases in systolic and diastolic blood
pressure and report that it has potential
as a means of objectively evaluating
the efficacy of various modifiers of the
RAAS in cats.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 74
(11): 1,392-1,399.

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