Monthly Archives: February 2013

Bullous pemphigoid is an autoimmune blistering skin disease characterized by the presence of circulating autoantibodies which recognize specific proteins of the epidermis and dermoepidermal junction. Diagnosis is based on clinical criteria and laboratory investigations, notably histology, direct and indirect immunofluorescence, and ELISA. This study describes a new immunofluorescence assay for parallel determination of anti-BP180 and anti-BP230 based on recombinant antigenic substrates. The aim of the study was to detect BP180 and BP230 autoantibodies by BIOCHIP technology using both a specially designed recombinant BP180-NC16A protein and cells expressing the BP230-gc antigen fragment. 18 patients with bullous pemphigoid were included in the study. Autoantibodies to BP180 were detected by the BIOCHIP technique in 83.33% of patients with clinical, serological, and immunohistological confirmed bullous pemphigoid while autoantibodies against BP230-gC were detected only in 39% of patients. The detection of anti-BP180-NC16A and anti-BP230-gC by a new biochip-based immunoassay is a suitable alternative to indirect immunofluorescence and ELISA. This method has the advantage of easily discriminating the different autoantibody specificities. The BIOCHIP method is faster, cheaper, and easy to use when compared with the ELISA approach. For this reason, the new method could be used as an initial screening test to identify patients with bullous pemphigoid, and doubtful results could then be confirmed by ELISA.

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There are a limited number of reports indicating the role of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I alleles in pemphigus vulgaris. This study was designed to highlight the association of HLA class I alleles with pemphigus vulgaris in Iran. Fifty patients with pemphigus vulgaris, diagnosed based on clinical, histological and direct immunofluorescence findings were enrolled into this study. The control group consisted of 50 healthy, age- and sex-matched individuals. HLA typing of class I (A, B and C alleles) was carried out using polymerase chain reaction based on the sequence-specific primer method. This study showed the higher frequency of HLA-B*44:02 (= 0.007), -C*04:01 (< 0.001), -C*15:02 (< 0.001) and -C*16:01 (= 0.027) in the patient group, compared to the controls, while the frequency of HLA-C*06:02 (< 0.001) and -C*18:01 (= 0.008) in the patients with pemphigus vulgaris was significantly lower than the controls. Regarding the linkage disequilibrium between HLA class I alleles, the HLA-A*03:01, -B*51:01, -C*16:02 haplotype (4% vs 0%,= 0.04) is suggested to be a predisposing factor, whereas HLA-A*26:01, -B*38, -C*12:03 haplotype (0% vs 6%, = 0.01) is suggested to be a protective factor. In conclusion, it is suggested that HLA-B*44:02, -C*04:01, -C*15:02 alleles and HLA-A*03:01, -B*51:01, -C*16:02 haplotype are susceptibility factors for development of pemphigus vulgaris in the Iranian population, while HLA-C*06:02, -C*18:01 alleles and HLA-A*26:01, -B*38, -C*12:03 haplotype may be considered as protective alleles.

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Pemphigus and pemphigoid are uncommon dermatological entities in domestic animals and of a presumed autoimmune nature. In one form or another, they

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have been reported in the dog, cat, horse and goat. Although these diseases are considered to be bullous dermatoses, the clinical presentation may vary from ulcerative to exfoliative to proliferative depending on the individual condition. Currently, four variants of pemphigus are recognized (vulgaris, vegetans, foliaceus, erythematosus) and two of pemphigoid (bullous, cicatricial) although cicatricial pemphigoid has not yet been conclusively demonstrated in animals. Diagnosis is based on history, clinical signs, histopathology and immunopathology. Therapy must be immunosuppressive to be effective and is palliative rather than curative.

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american-quarter-horsePemphigus foliaceus (pem-fi-gus foli-a-shus) is an auto immune disease that affects humans and dogs and, to a lesser extent, cats and horses.
In horses, it is characterized by primary lesions that often begin on the head and lower extremities; secondary lesions spread to other areas, with an exudate that dries to a crust. There may be extensive edema (swelling) in the legs and abdomen (called “ventral” edema).
Equine pemphigus foliaceus (EPF) is considered rare and signs and symptoms may resemble those of other conditions such as insect bite allergies (crusty lesions), pigeon fever (ventral edema) or other skin conditions.
The primary way to diagnose EPF is by punch biopsy of the skin which is examined by a veterinary pathologist. The pathologist looks for changes consistent with this diagnosis, while also ruling out other causes.
Horses with EPF may also have systemic signs of illness – fever, depression, loss of appetite, lethargy and weight loss. The skin may be painful to touch and swelling can make it difficult to walk or lie down.
Senear-Usher syndrome or pemphigus erythematosus is a pathology that overlaps clinically and serologically with pemphigus foliaceus and lupus erythematosus. Skin biopsies of patients with pemphigus erythematosus reveal acantholysis and deposits of immunoglobulins in desmosomes, and they are positive in the lupus band test. In the present paper, we determined whether the autoantibodies associated with pemphigus erythematosus targeted a single antigen or multiple antigens as a result of the stimulation of independent B cell clones. Our present paper demonstrates that patients with pemphigus erythematosus produce both antiepithelial antibodies specific for desmoglein 1 and 3 and antinuclear antibodies specific for Ro, La, Sm, and double-stranded DNA antigens. After eluting specific anti-epithelial or anti-nuclear antibodies, which were recovered and tested using double-fluorescence assays, a lack of cross-reactivity was demonstrated between desmosomes and nuclear and cytoplasmic lupus antigens. This result suggests that autoantibodies in pemphigus erythematosus are directed against different antigens and that these autoantibodies are produced by independent clones. Given these clinical and serological data, we suggest that pemphigus erythematosus behaves as a multiple autoimmune disease.

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Screenshot_2Pemphigus foliaceus (PF) is an immune-mediated disease that causes pustules and crusted lesions, most commonly on the pinnae, nasal planum, periocular area, chin, feet of affected cats. Acantholytic cells caused by dehydration of intercellular adhesions are often seen on cytology but are not pathognomic for PF. A definitive diagnosis is made based on histopathology showing subcorneal pustules with nondegenerate neutrophils and acantholytic cells. PF is treated with immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids alone or in combination with other immunosuppresive medications, such as chlorambucil or cyclosporine. Most patients require lifelong treatment with these medications to keep the disease in remission.

Hershey, a 6-year-old, spayed domestic shorthaired cat weighing 3.4 kg, presented with an acute onset of nonpruritic crusted lesions on the head, ears, nail beds, and nasal

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area. She had a 2-day history of lethargy and anorexia. She had no history of medical disease and was up-to-date on vaccinations.

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