A  A  A   Print
Dog DNA May Yield Clues to Human Eczema

Dog DNA May Yield Clues to Human Eczema

FRIDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- A gene associated with eczema in dogs has been identified, and that might one day lead to better treatments for people with the skin disease, a new study contends.

The skin of patients with eczema -- whether canine or human -- is easily irritated by allergens such as pollens, house mites and certain foods. This irritation leads to itching, scratching and flaky skin that is vulnerable to infections.

Examining the DNA of dogs, the researchers found that a genetic region associated with eczema contains the gene PKP-2, which produces a protein important for the formation and proper functioning of skin structure. The finding suggests that an abnormal skin barrier is a potential risk factor for eczema, the study authors said.

"With the help of pet owners, we have managed to collect a unique set of DNA samples from sick and healthy dogs, which allowed us to gain insight into atopic dermatitis genetics," said first author Katarina Tengvall of Uppsala University in Sweden.

The findings, published online May 9 in the journal PLoS Genetics, could lead to better understanding of the disease, which may open the door to improved treatments and perhaps a genetic test for the condition, Tengvall said in a journal news release.

Eczema affects 10 percent to 30 percent of people and up to 10 percent of dogs. Purebred German shepherds are prone to eczema because of generations of selective breeding, the researchers said.

For the study, the researchers compared DNA samples from healthy dogs with DNA samples from German shepherds that had eczema to locate the particular genetic segment associated with the disease. Compared to human DNA, the structure of canine DNA makes it easier to locate areas that carry disease-risk genes, the researchers said.

The similarity between canine and human eczema was underscored by another recent discovery, the researchers said. In that case, a gene involved in the skin barrier was linked to human eczema.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about eczema.

SOURCE: Uppsala University, news release, May 9, 2013

 

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.