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Cytological and parasitological analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid for the diagnosis of Angiostrongylus vasorum infection in dogs

Barçante, J.M.P., Barçante, T.A., Ribeiro, V.M., Oliveira-Junior, S.D., Dias, S.R.C., Negrão-Corrêa, D., Lima, W.S.
Veterinary parasitology 2008 v.158 no.1-2 pp. 93-102
cell biology, parasitology, bronchi, dogs, mucosa, body fluids, nematode infections, dog diseases, disease diagnosis, Angiostrongylus vasorum, animal parasitic nematodes, pulmonary alveoli, diagnostic techniques, accuracy
Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) is a procedure that retrieves cells and other elements from the lungs for evaluation, which helps in the diagnosis of many pulmonary diseases. The aims of this work were to perform this procedure in dogs in the acute and chronic phases of an Angiostrongylus vasorum infection for cytological analysis and to evaluate the potential of this technique as a diagnostic method for this lung-heart worm. The BAL procedure was performed through the use of an endotracheal tube on seven A. vasorum infected dogs and on five non-infected dogs lined as a control group. Sixty days post-infection (dpi) active and live larvae were retrieved from the bronchoalveolar fluid (BALF) of all infected dogs. Furthermore, in one animal it was possible to retrieve larvae in its BALF before the pre-patent period. This work reports that the A. vasorum infection resulted in an increase of relative neutrophils and eosinophils counts. In contrast, there was a significant decrease in the alveolar macrophage relative count in infected animals from 60 to 330dpi. This study shows that the BAL is an accurate technique for the diagnosis of canine angiostrongylosis. Moreover, the technique allows us to retrieve cells and other elements that line the lung surface for cytological evaluation, which provides information about inflammatory diseases, and the diagnosis and prognosis of pulmonary parasites such as A. vasorum.