Fecal Canine Calprotectin

This assay is currently not routinely available on a service basis. Please contact the laboratory if you are interested in this assay in a research study.

The Gastrointestinal Laboratory at Texas A&M University is currently performing research in the field of novel markers that aid in the management of canine patients with gastroenteropathies. As part of these studies, we are currently evaluating fecal canine calprotectin for assessment of dogs with gastroenteropathies.

Calprotectin is a cytosolic protein complex that is contained in cells at sites of inflammation and has been associated with inflammatory diseases in humans. In human medicine, fecal calprotectin has been shown to be a sensitive non-invasive marker for the diagnosis of gastrointestinal inflammation and colorectal cancer, and is now widely used to determine disease activity and predict relapses in humans with IBD.

A canine immunoassay for the measurement of fecal canine calprotectin has recently been developed and analytically validated at the GI Lab at Texas A&M University (1). This assay was shown to pass the standard validation criteria for immunoassays, and fecal calprotectin was shown to be stable in fecal samples short-term (2).

Most healthy dogs have a three-day mean fecal calprotectin concentration of <65.4 µg/g (3).

The clinical utility of fecal canine calprotectin is currently being evaluated to determine its usefulness for the diagnosis and/or monitoring of canine patients with enteropathies, such as antibiotic-responsive diarrhea, food-responsive diarrhea, or idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease. While it is too early to comment on the overall usefulness of this new assay for the diagnosis of dogs with chronic enteropathies, our studies so far suggest that fecal calprotectin might be a robust marker for disease activity in dogs with IBD. Thus, until further data become available this assay might be an option for objectively assessing disease activity in dogs with enteropathies involved in research projects or for patients that are difficult to monitor by the owner.

The fecal canine calprotectin assay is now available through the Gastrointestinal Laboratory. Measurement of fecal calprotectin requires three fecal samples (about one gram each) collected from naturally passed fresh feces on three consecutive days. Pre-weighed fecal collection tubes (available through the GI Lab; these are the same tubes that are used for sample collection for fecal alpha1-PI) need to be used. Samples should be frozen as soon as possible after collection and should be shipped overnight on ice packs. The fecal calprotectin assay is performed once a week. For results to be available by 6 p.m. on Friday, samples need to arrive at the laboratory by 10 a.m. on Thursday.

References
1. Heilmann RM, Suchodolski JS, Steiner JM. Development and analytic validation of a radioimmunoassay for the quantification of canine calprotectin in serum and feces from dogs. Am J Vet Res 69(7):845-853, 2008.

2. Grellet A, Heilmann RM, Suchodolski JS, Feugier A, Casseleux G, Biourge V, Bickel T, Polack B, Grandjean D, Steiner JM. Evaluation of canine calprotectin in feces from a large group of puppies. J Vet Intern Med 24(6), 1553, 2010.

3.Heilmann RM, Guard BC, Weber K, Suchodolski JS, Steiner JM. Development and analytical validation of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the quantification of canine calprotectin in serum and feces from dogs. J Vet Intern Med 25(3), 693, 2011.


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