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Therapeutic potential of host defense peptides (HDPs) for preventing otitis infections

Host defense peptides (HDPs) are small, naturally occurring peptides that play a crucial role in the innate immune system as a defence mechanism against microbial infections.

This study aimed to evaluate the expression and antimicrobial activity of two types of HDPs (cBD3-like and cCath) in the external ear canal of healthy and atopic dogs.


  • The findings revealed a significantly lower concentration of HDPs in the ears of atopic dogs compared to healthy dogs

  • The authors suggest that the reduced concentration of HDPs may contribute to the increased susceptibility of atopic dogs to ear infections. 

  • The study proposes further investigation to determine whether routine ear cleaning in dogs with chronic otitis externa affects the quantity and activity of HDPs.

My thoughts

These findings highlight the therapeutic potential of host defense peptides (HDPs) for preventing or treating otitis infections in pets. Maybe exploring topical products (such as probiotics) to stimulate HDPs' expression!? What are your thoughts? 


Santoro D. Comparison of the quantity and antimicrobial activity of host defence peptides in ear canals between healthy and atopic dogs: A preliminary study. Vet Dermatol. 2023 Oct;34(5):452-459. doi: 10.1111/vde.13164. Epub 2023 Apr 23. PMID: 37088888.

About the author  

Dr. Aline Santana is a Brazilian veterinarian with over 12 years of experience in both research and private dermatology practice. In 2021, she completed her PhD in veterinary dermatology at the University of São Paulo (Brazil), with a sandwich period at the University of Minnesota, where she conducted research on the skin microbiome of cats. Since 2012, she has been an active member of the Brazilian Society of Veterinary Dermatology (SBDV). From 2015 to 2021, Dr. Santana served as the director of social media marketing, contributing to the organization's outreach and communication efforts.




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