Visualizing neutrophil extracellular traps in septic equine synovial and peritoneal fluid samples using immunofluorescence microscopy

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Abstract

Septic synovitis and peritonitis are routinely diagnosed in horses based on clinical examination findings and laboratory assessment of synoviocentesis and abdominocentesis samples, respectively. Diagnosis is difficult in some cases because of an overlap in laboratory results for septic and non-septic inflammation. Neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation is part of the innate immune response against pathogens. Identifying and quantifying NETs, which have not been explored in clinical samples from horses with septic synovitis and peritonitis, to our knowledge, may be helpful in detecting infectious processes. Our main objective was to determine whether NETs could be visualized in septic equine synovial and peritoneal fluid cytology samples using immunofluorescence with antibodies against citrullinated histone H3 (Cit-H3) and myeloperoxidase (MPO). We analyzed 9 synovial and 4 peritoneal fluid samples. NET percentages were quantified using a simple counting technique, which is suitable for high-quality, well-preserved, and stained cytospin smears. NETs were evident in all septic samples and were absent in a non-septic sample; NETs were better visualized with Cit-H3 than with MPO immunolabeling. Overall, we believe that there is the potential for NETs and associated markers to be used to investigate and understand septic inflammation in horses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-760
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Volume35
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

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