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Newsletter 03/2018
We are pleased to welcome you to the monthly BattLab newsletter. This newsletter will bring you the latest news and information about our laboratory and all tests that we can offer to all our clients.
After the success of the first 2018 seminar which was fully booked, we are pleased to announce the second seminar for 2018. This time the talk will be focused on platelets and stem cells and how these are important in wound healing and repair. Francesco Cian, our clinical pathologist, will guide you through how to interpret platelet results and to further investigate thrombocytopenia. Joanna Miller from Cell Therapies will discuss the rationale and evidence for the use of stem cells and platelets in orthopaedic conditions. Finally, Rachel Mowbray, clinical director at the Pet-rehabilitation unit at Vale Referrals, will then explain her use of regenerative medicine and rehabilitation to treat osteoarthritis and other joint diseases in practice.
Title: Platelets & Regenerative Medicine: Why are they important & how can we use them?
Date:  Tuesday 27th of March 2018
Starting time: 19:30
For registration please send an email to
Limited spaces available 
Itchiness is one of the top reasons for veterinary visits. Being able to identify the cause and select the most appropriate treatment for each patient is crucial but at the same time it can be very challenging and time consuming for veterinarians. Our ELISA and PCR testing give veterinarians new tools to assist in the workup of their itchy pets.
  • Sarcoptes antibody ELISA: this can be a valid addition to the traditional cytology examination of skin scrapes as studies have shown that Sarcoptes mites are microscopically identified in only 50% of the samples. This test performed on serum informs you of an exposure to the mite but it is not able to distinguish between an active infection and a previous exposure. Moreover, false negative results may be observed in the first weeks of infection, before seroconversion.
  • Sarcoptes PCR: this test is able to identifiy Sarcoptes scabiei varietas canis. The recommended sample to submit is a superficial skin scraping. PCR testing is useful to confirm infection and also to monitor the response to treatment.
  • Dermatophyte PCR: this test is able to identify (and differentiate) most relevant species of dermatophytes including Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum, Microsporum persicolor, and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. The recommended samples for analysis are hair plucks, scales or crusts.
  • Demodex PCR: this test can identify all relevant species of Demodex in dogs and cats including D. canis, D. injai, D. cornei, D. cati, D. gatoi and D. felis. The recommended sample for analysis is a deep-skin scraping as Demodex live very deep in the skin.
What are the main advantages of PCR testing over the traditional diagnostic tests?
  • PCR testing for Sarcoptes, Demodex and Dermatophytes can provide you reliable results in a few working days versus weeks using traditional methods, such as the dermatophyte test media (DTM) late or fungal culture.
  • Recent studies have shown that PCR assays on skin scrapings are much more sensitive detecting mites than microscopy or standard culture.
  • PCR testing can also be used to identify the exact species of fungi that has been detected.
For more information and prices do not hesitate to contact us.
Prognostic significance of c-KIT expression, c-kit mutation and KI67 score in canine cutaneous mast cell tumours
We all know how the histological grade is one of the most important prognostic factors for cutaneous mast cell tumours in dogs. However, there are additional tests that can help to predict the outcome of this neoplasm. These include immunohistochemistry for Ki-67 and c-Kit, which can both be requested through BattLab and can be performed on all those histological samples, previously diagnosed as mast cell tumour.
  • Ki67 score. Ki67 is a nuclear protein that is expressed in all active phase of the cell cycle, but it is not present in noncycling cells. The relative number of Ki67-positive cells is used to determine the proliferation score, or the relative number of cells actively involved in the cell cycle (growth fraction). In MCTs, a high Ki67 expression (Ki67 score > 23 versus Ki67 score ≤ 23) is associated with increased mortality, rate of local recurrence, and metastasis (see Table 1). Ki67 has emerged to be a prognostic factor that is independent of histological grade, and can be assessed by immunohistochemistry.
  • c-KIT expression. c-KIT is a protein and a receptor and is found in normal mast cells. c-KIT binds to a ligand to become activated and play its role in the survival, proliferation, differentiation, and migration of mast cells. c-KIT protein’s localisation can be visualised with immunohistochemistry (c-KIT expression). It is normally located near the cellular membrane (c-KIT pattern I), but aberrant, cytoplasmic expressions are also possible (c-KIT patterns II and III). These last two aberrant c-KIT expressions have been associated with increased local recurrence and distant metastasis, and decreased 3 years survival time (see Table 1).
  • c-kit mutation. c-KIT protein is encoded by the gene c-kit. Mutations of this gene are found in 30-50% of MCTs and they are detected by PCR (presently not performed in UK). These mutations are usually associated with aberrant expressions (KIT patterns II and III) of the c-KIT protein.  Furthermore, c-kit mutations have been associated with higher histologic grade and dogs with MCTs having such mutation have significantly decreased survival times and disease-free intervals, increased incidences of MCT-related mortality, increased incidences of local recurrence and are twice as likely to have metastases compared to tumours that lack these mutations. Finally, dogs with mutations in c-kit had response rates that were approximately twice as high compared to dogs with wild-type c-kit when treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitor toceranib phosphate.
Table 1. Prognostic significance of c-KIT expression and KI67 score in canine cutaneous mast cell tumours
KIT expression
KI67 score
Local recurrence
KIT pattern I
Local recurrence
KI67 score > 23
KIT pattern II
KI67 score < 23
KIT pattern III
MCT related death
KI67 score > 23
3 years survival time
KIT pattern I
KI67 score < 23
KIT pattern II
KIT pattern III
Distant metastasis
KIT pattern I
KIT pattern II
KIT pattern III
BattLab will be present at the BSAVA congress from the 5th to the 8th of April. Come and visit us at our stand (722). One of our clinical pathologist, Francesco Cian, will also provide cytology practical sessions on the Thursday morning and afternoon. We are looking forward to meeting you there.
Yours sincerely,
The BattLab team
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