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Vet Dermatol. 2009 Oct;20(5-6):405-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3164.2009.00848.x.

The use of recombinant omega interferon therapy in canine atopic dermatitis: a double-blind controlled study.

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Aquivet Clinique Vétérinaire, Avenue de la Forêt, Parc d'activités Mermoz, F-33320 Eysines (Bordeaux), France.


This double-blind controlled study assessed whether reduced doses of omega interferon (rFeIFN-omega) (Virbagen Omega) could improve the clinical signs of canine atopic dermatitis (CAD) over a 6-month period, in comparison with cyclosporin. Thirty-one dogs diagnosed with CAD were entered in the study. Complicating infections were treated prior to entry. Dogs received 10 injections of rFeIFN-omega (1-5 million units according to bodyweight) or placebo over 6 months, and placebo capsules or cyclosporin (5 mg/kg) once daily for 2 months and then twice weekly for 4 months in groups 1 and 2 respectively. Flea control, non-medicated shampooing and ear cleansing were performed regularly. If a bacterial infection or Malassezia overgrowth developed, it was treated with oral cephalexin or with 3% chlorhexidine shampoo respectively. Oral prednisolone was used before day 90 to relieve pruritus when required for humane reasons (1 mg/kg once daily for 7 days). The CADESI-03 and a pruritus index were evaluated on day (D) 0, D14, D35, D56, D90, D120 and D180. No significant difference was detected between the groups for the time courses of lesions or pruritus over 6 months. On D90, the proportions of dogs with > or =50% improvement of pruritus and lesion scores were 56% and 72% respectively with interferon, 75% and 75% respectively with cyclosporin. Five dogs from group 1 and two dogs from group 2 were withdrawn from the study for treatment failure. Both products were well tolerated. Treatment with rfeIFN-omega at low doses may help for the long-term management of CAD.

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