[…] The 2016 has also marked an important event for the health of our pets and has stressed on the importance of the partnership between researchers and veterinary surgeons with their patients. Experts and scientists from all over the world met in Bordeaux, France, for almost a week at the end of May to present and discuss the latest on the pathogenesis and treatment of various dermatological conditions in animals with the main focus on dogs and cats skin and ear diseases. It was such a busy event with over 2,000 people attending the 8th World Congress of Veterinary Dermatology (WCVD8). It is organized every four years by the World Association of Veterinary Dermatology (WAVD), an association which has the goal “to promote the worldwide advancement of veterinary dermatology”.
There were so many lectures presenting the state of the art or the latest research on genetic diseases, infectious diseases, therapeutics, ectoparasitoses, immune mediated diseases, neoplasia and otitis. There were practical wetlabs and workshops focusing on specific conditions or therapeutic approaches. A large number of free communications were presented too and colleagues had the opportunity to present their studies and findings on a variety of topics.
As a native Italian who works abroad I was proud to see how the effort and research done by Italian colleagues has been well recognized internationally in the veterinary dermatology field. Italians will not just be remembered for the clothes designers, cars, food and wines but also for the innovative drugs which have been developed in the last few years. They have helped many of us in Europe to better resolve and prevent skin and ear infections in our pets and patients.
The usefulness of antiseptics have been highlighted in the lectures given by USA speakers like Prof Guardabassi and DeBoer. They have stressed how useful antiseptics could be in the management of canine superficial pyoderma. Nowadays we are asked to avoid abusing antibiotics for conditions which may be resolved by topical treatments with chlorhexidine. The presence on the veterinary market of products containing chlorhexidine 4% in various formulations (shampoo, spray, foam) like the one manufactured by the Italian company “ICF” are very handy and well received by pet owners who are becoming more and more aware of the need to limit antibiotic use.
The efficacy of the topical therapy was also highlighted in an in vitro study done by the veterinary dermatology group of the University of Edinburgh who have found the chlorhexidine-TrizEDTA and climbazole impregnated wipes developed again by ICF a valid weapon in fighting various microorganisms, including those which are methicillin resistant, when compared to another commercially available similar product.
The treatment of canine otitis with antimicrobial peptides is the most innovative approach which has been presented at the WCVD8. The ICF company has launched a new otic product “Peptivet Otogel” containing the synthetic antimicrobial peptide AMP2041 (ICF patent) in association with chlorhexidine and Tris-EDTA which seems to be a very promising weapon in our daily fight of multi-resistant microorganism including Pseudomonas aeruginosa. An in vitro and in vivo study done by a group of dermatologists and microbiologists in Italy has shown that this otic product has a complete bactericidal activity against all tested microorganisms within 48hrs. The usefulness of the antiseptic combination of chlorhexidine and tris-EDTA was also highlighted in the lecture on the successful management of relapsing otitis in dogs given by Dr Nuttall. Tris-EDTA disruption of the biofilms and damage of bacteria cell walls and its synergism with chlorhexidine which help controlling the microbial population in ears have been emphasized as a way to reduce the use of topical antibiotics.
The AMP2041 antimicrobial peptide has a broad spectrum of action against bacteria, a synergistic effect with antiseptics and does not induce bacterial resistance. It works by binding to the bacterial membrane surface and producing holes which lead to a reduction of the proton gradient, outpouring of molecules from the cytoplasm, inhibition of the ATP production and reduction of the metabolic process causing the microbial cell death.
Antimicrobial peptides will likely be the great innovation for the treatment of ear and skin infections in our pets. Prof Schwarz in his State of the Art lecture on “Bacterial resistance – where are we heading?” said that the future of the antibacterial therapy is already here when he highlighted how the ICF company has led the market with the production of an antimicrobial peptide in a veterinary product. Currently the product is marketed in a otic, shampoo and spray version. Hopefully they will soon be available on the UK market and I am sure it will make a great difference in the way we will approach skin and ear infections in cats and dogs.
We are only half way in 2016 and I wonder what else the next months will reserve to us in various fields. Personally I am looking forward to use safe and effective products to control ear and skin infections without being worried I am abusing antibiotics which should be saved for serious life treating conditions in pets and humans.
The next World Congress of Veterinary Dermatology will be in 2020 in Sydney, Australia and I am sure that by then we will hear more about Italian products and more studies will be presented and published with the aim to improve small animal health![…]
by “2016, what a year!“-
Dr Rosario Cerundolo, DVM, Cert. VD, Dipl. ECVD, MRCVS
European & RCVS Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology
Hon. Associate Professor of Veterinary Dermatology, University of Nottingham