Authors: DHAGMA RENATA DENIS SOUZA, ANDREIA LIMA TOME MELO, LIVIA SAAB MURARO, DANIEL MOURA AGUIAR, DEIJANIRA ALBUQUERQUE
Abstract: Ehrlichiosis is a disease caused by Ehrlichia, a genus of obligatory intracellular bacteria that parasitize leukocytes and provoke several hematological alterations. In this work, we investigated the effect of levamisole associated with doxycycline on peripheral leukocytes in dogs PCR-positive for ehrlichial DNA. Twenty-one Ehrlichia-infected dogs were randomly distributed in 2 groups: a control group (n = 10) and a levamisole-treated group (n = 11). Blood samples were collected from each animal for hematological and DNA analysis both before initiating the experiment and 5 days later. All dogs were treated with doxycycline (10 mg/kg body weight), cimetidine (5 mg/kg of body weight), and fluid therapy for 5 consecutive days. In addition to receiving antibiotic therapy, the levamisole-treated dogs received a single subcutaneous injection (1 mg/kg body weight) of levamisole on the first day of the experiment. The results show that levamisole associated with doxycycline significantly enhanced global leukocyte, lymphocyte, and monocyte numbers in the peripheral blood of dogs with ehrlichiosis. Those data suggest that the combination of doxycycline with levamisole may improve canine ehrlichiosis treatment through impairment of leukopenia, which is not controlled by antibiotic therapy alone.
Keywords: Ehrlichia canis, ehrlichiosis, levamisole
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