Recombinant human interferon‐α14 for the treatment of canine allergic pruritic disease in eight dogs

Beirão, Breno C. B. and Taraciuk, Aline C. and Trentin, Carolina and Ingberman, Max and Caron, Luiz F. and McKenzie, Chris and Stimson, Willaim H. (2021) Recombinant human interferon‐α14 for the treatment of canine allergic pruritic disease in eight dogs. Veterinary Record Open, 8 (1). e6. ISSN 2052-6113 (

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Background Allergic pruritic diseases are increasingly common in dogs. This group of conditions hampers life quality as pruritus progressively interferes with normal behaviours. Therefore, new treatment modalities for canine allergic pruritic diseases are necessary. While novel drugs have recently reached the market, there is still the need for other therapeutic approaches. Some dogs are refractory even to the newer compounds, and cost is also an important issue for these. Older therapeutic modalities are only moderately successful or have considerable secondary effects, as is the case with glucocorticoids. Objectives Report on the use of recombinant human interferon-alpha 14 (rhIFN-alpha 14) for the treatment of canine allergic pruritus. Following the experience with a similar compound in the Japanese market, it was expected that rhIFN-alpha 14 could alter the Th1/Th2 disbalance that drives these diseases. Methods Here, we present an uncontrolled trial in which eight dogs with clinical diagnosis of allergic pruritus were treated with rhIFN-alpha 14, either orally or via subcutaneous injections. Skin condition, microbiota and anti-interferon antibody levels were assessed. Results The parenteral use of interferon induced hypersensitivity in two of the three dogs in which it was used. The oral administration was consistently safe and could reduce signs of the allergic condition in three of the five treated animals. Treatment also altered the skin microbiota, as verified by next-generation sequencing. Conclusion The present results indicate that rhIFN-alpha 14 is a viable candidate for the treatment of canine allergic pruritus. Future controlled studies are needed, and the oral route is indicated for further trials.