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New device available for diagnosing periodontal disease in dogs

Jan. 19, 2012
Periodontal disease is among the most common serious diseases in dogs. David McClure Jr., PhD, and Russell Secter—each from PDx BioTech—discuss OraStrip QuickCheck Canine, a new point-of-care device for the detection and monitoring of periodontal disease in dogs.
By David McClure Jr., PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, PDx BioTech, and Russell Secter, CEO, PDx BioTech
OraStrip QuickCheck Canine, from PDx BioTech, is a new point of care device for the detection and monitoring of active periodontal disease in dogs.(1) Periodontal disease is among the most common serious diseases in dogs, with its prevalence increasing with age and body weight. Canine periodontal disease, which is properly diagnosed using periodontal probing and radiography, is considered serious both because it is closely associated with cardiovascular, renal, and hepatic diseases and because it directly impacts a dog’s quality of life. However, the disease remains underdiagnosed because many veterinarians rely solely on a clinical visual exam – in which the canine patient’s upper lip is lifted and the appearance of the unprobed gingiva is evaluated – to assess the risk for underlying periodontal disease. Until now, there has been no reliable detection tool available.
Periodontitis in canines can only be properly diagnosed only through a combination of a full mouth examination, including probing, and radiography, to show the extent of alveolar bone loss and requires that the dog undergo anesthesia. Stages of canine periodontal disease are described and online.(2) It is well-established that canine periodontal disease is multifactorial, but it universally involves an infection of the canine gingiva with anaerobic gram-negative rods, among which are sulfate-reducing microbes of genus Porphyromonas and others. When oxygen tension beneath the gum line is low, these pathogenic bacteria produce high levels of metabolic products called thiols, including, in particular, hydrogen sulfide, which compromises gingival epithelial integrity and can induce bone loss.(3,4)
OraStrip QuickCheck Canine is a test strip enabling measurement of thiol levels in fluid collected from the canine maxillary facial gum line. OraStrip QuickCheck Canine provides a readout within 10 seconds indicating whether a dog has active periodontal disease.
In a study of 71 dogs conducted at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital, OraStrip score representing thiol level was statistically significantly positively correlated (P<0.005) to periodontal stage and measures of gingival inflammation.
In an ongoing longitudinal study at the Carolinas Animal Hospital and Dental Clinic (Charlotte, NC), OraStrip has been shown to be far superior to the lift the lip visual clinical exam in detecting actionable periodontal disease. In an interim analysis, 36 canine subjects were found to have Gingival Index of 2 or greater on at least one tooth; of these, only 36% showed moderate or severe inflammation on the visual exam, with 64% showing no or mild inflammation; all 36, however, gave a positive OraStrip score. Of dogs who experienced progressive radiographic bone loss over the six-month course of the study, only 29% showed moderate or severe inflammation on the visual exam while all gave a positive OraStrip result. 
OraStrip thus provides information previously lacking to veterinary professionals that will now be confirmed by probing and radiography and can lead to treatment recommendations more readily adopted by clients for the well-being of canine patients. It is currently being studied in felines and humans. For more information, visit the website.(1)References
1. Yoshida A, Yoshimura M, Ohara N, Yoshimura S, Nagashima S, Takehara T, Nakayama K (2009). J Periodontol. 80(11):1845-51.4. Chen W, Kajiya M, Giro G, Ouhara K, Mackler HE, Mawardi H, Boisvert H, Duncan MJ, Sato K, Kawai T (2010). Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 391(1):645-50.David McClure, PhD, (Chief Scientific Officer, PDx BioTech) is a biochemist whose research on enzymes involved in sulfur metabolism has appeared in Biochemistry and The Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Russell Secter, Pharm D, is currently CEO of PDx BioTech. He was previously President of OraPharma, Inc.