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J Comp Pathol. 2003 Aug-Oct;129(2-3):169-78.

Characterization of renal damage in canine leptospirosis by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and Western blotting of the urinary proteins.

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  • 1Departamento de Medicina y Sanidad Animal, Biología Molecular y Genética, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Extremadura, Avda. Universidad s/n, Cáceres 10004, Spain.


Canine leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that can cause interstitial nephritis. As a consequence of the renal damage, proteinuria may occur. To determine the urine protein pattern in the disease we performed sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) on the urine from 10 dogs with leptospirosis and 20 healthy dogs. Western blotting analysis of the urine samples with antibodies against canine IgG and IgA was also performed to identify these immunoglobulins in the urine. Urine electrophoresis showed three new bands in the dogs suffering from leptospirosis. Only two of the dogs with leptospirosis showed detectable concentrations of IgG and IgA in urine, while a third animal showed IgG alone. The study showed a 36.7% increase in the excretion of low molecular weight proteins in dogs with leptospirosis but almost no change in the high molecular weight protein pattern. These results, together with the low number of animal with detectable concentrations of IgG and IgA in the urine, support the view that canine leptospirosis is characterized by interstitial nephritis.

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