Delayed hypersensitivity (HS) reactions to sulphonamide antimicrobials occur in both humans and dogs with a similar clinical presentation, and may include thrombocytopaenia. Drug-dependent anti-platelet antibodies have been identified in humans with sulphonamide-associated thrombocytopaenia. Our purpose was to determine whether similar antibodies were present in dogs with sulphonamide-associated thrombocytopaenia. Flow cytometry was used to detect anti-platelet antibodies in sera from 32 dogs with sulphonamide HS, eight dogs that tolerated sulphonamide therapy without adverse reactions and nine healthy control dogs were used as controls. Anti-platelet antibodies were found more frequently, with significantly stronger fluorescence signals, in HS dogs (75%) compared to 'tolerant' dogs (38%), and in HS dogs with thrombocytopaenia (90%) compared to HS dogs with normal platelet counts (46%). Binding to platelets was enhanced in the presence of soluble sulphonamide in 42% of positive samples. Experiments with canine Glanzmann's platelets, and competition assays with fibrinogen fragments or anti-GP antibodies, did not support the hypothesis that these canine antibodies target the fibrinogen receptor. In conclusion, anti-platelet antibodies were identified in dogs with sulphonamide-associated thrombocytopaenia, which suggests a similar immunopathogenesis for this reaction in dogs as seen in humans. Further work in both species will determine whether these antibodies are pathogenic in vitro.
- Drug hypersensitivity
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