Canine anti-endotoxin immunotherapy in cranial mesenteric arterial occlusion shock and canine parvovirus disease endotoxaemia.
Wessels, Brian C.
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Endotoxin (LPS, lipopolysaccharide) forms an integral part of the outer cellular membrane of gram negative bacteria (GNB). The canines' intestine always contains large amounts of GNB, and hence LPS. If these GNB with their LPS, remain within the intestinal lumen, they are not harmful to the host. When GNB do gain entry into a hosts' circulation a bacteraemia will occur with a concurrent endotoxaemia. In the past, it had been accepted that GNB were, themselves, primarily responsible for the mortality and morbidity of bacteraemic and septicaemic patients. Evidence has emerged to indicate that this is not altogether true as isolated LPS, without the presence of GNB, can also lead to fatalities. Circulating LPS is exceptionally chemically stable and highly toxic to host cells. Antimicrobial chemotherapy can destroy GNB, but this therapy does not reduce the toxicity of LPS, nor does it clear LPS from the circulation. Destruction of the GNB by certain antibiotics can, in fact, increase the concentration of circulating plasma LPS in a host. The functional integrity of the intestinal wall is highly dependent upon an adequate blood supply, and the mucosal cells acts as the primary defence against the potentially pathogenic, endogenous and exogenous GNB and LPS. Once these pathogens become intravascular then the liver is the next most important organ of defence. Shock, irrespective of its aetiology, without adequate therapy, leads to reduced micro-vascular circulation, and thus a state of either localised or generalised hypoxia occurs. Partial or complete intestinal vascular ischaemia will produce a state of regional hypoxia, and lead to damage of the intestinal wall allowing GNB, with their LPS, or LPS by itself, to enter into the hosts' blood circulation. Therefore, an aetiology that gives rise to any type of "classified shock," may eventually give rise to concurrent endotoxaemia. In clinical practice there are numerous different diseases, physical onslaughts, and either acquired or congenital anatomical defects, that can give rise to intestinal vascular ischaemia, and hence, endotoxaemia. Many treatment regimens to combat the effects of an endotoxaemia have been advocated over the years, but this problem still has an unacceptably high mortality and morbidity index, probably because almost all such therapeutic regimens fail to destroy the LPS molecule. Recent clinical studies have shown that immunotherapy is effective in combating gram negative bacteraemia and septicaemia in humans and animals. Research workers have been able to produce a "broad- spectrum" or "polyvalent" equine, hyperimmune, anti-endotoxir, antibody-enriched plasma (ANTI- LPS), with favourab"^ responses recorded when this plasma was used to treat a variety of experimentally-induced endotoxin-shocked subjects. ANTI-LPS significantly reduced the mortality in experimentally produced superior mesenteric arterial occlusion endotoxaemia in rabbits, presumably by neutralizing and opsonizing the circulating plasma LPS. Equine practitioners have reported successful results when ANTI-LPS was incorporated into the treatment of certain medical and surgical equine endotoxic related problems. A ^/ery recent, independent, Canadian study showed the effectivness of ANTI-LPS, where this preparation was tested against other anti-LPS products, to treat experimentally-induced sepsis in rats. The polyvalent equine ANTI- LPS was the most effective, in that its use resulted in the longest survival. In order to establish the generality of the use of equine ANTI-LPS plasma, I have extended these studies to the canine, since an abdominal vascular ischaemia carries a serious, high-risk, surgical emergency with unsatisfactorily high mortality rates, despite successful surgical intervention with concurrent supportive medical therapy. Twenty healthy dogs were divided into four groups; a control group (n=5) and three experimentally treated groups (n=5 in each group). All twenty dogs were subjected to the well-documented cranial (superior) mesenteric arterial occlusion (CMAO) shock model. The three experimental groups received the polyvalent equine, ANTI-LPS at different times and by two different routes, with no side effects being observed in any of these dogs. One group (n=5)received ANTI-LPS s.c. before CMAO was performed, a second group (n= 5) received their dosage of ANTI-LPS i.v. during the three-hour occlusion period, and a third group (n=5) received their dose s.c, within three minutes after the CMAO was released. Survival was recorded when any dog lived for a minimum of 14 days after the occluded vessel was released. All 5/5 (100%) controls died within 17 hours after the release of the occluded vessel, whereas only one of the 15 (6,5%) experimentally ANTI-LPS treated dogs died (P