Reactivity of serum samples of dogs and horses tested by use of class-specific recombinant-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for detection of granulocytic ehrlichiosis

Louis A. Magnarelli, Jacob W. Ijdo, Amy E. Van Andel, Caiyun Wu, James H. Oliver, Erol Fikrig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective - To test serum samples of dogs and horses by use of class-specific recombinant-based ELISA for establishing a diagnosis of granulocytic ehrlichiosis attributable to infection with organisms from the Ehrlichia phagocytophila genogroup. Sample Population - Serum samples from 43 client-owned dogs and 131 horses (81 with signs of acute illness and 50 without signs of disease). Procedure - Serum samples were analyzed, using ELISA with a recombinant 44-kd protein antigen for IgM and IgG antibodies to the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) agent (NCH-1 strain). Western blot analyses, using infected human promyelocytic leukemia cells, were conducted on 38 serum samples of horses and 11 serum samples of dogs to verify reactivity to the 44-kd peptide. Results - IgM or IgG antibodies to the HGE agent were detected in 5 to 28% of dog serum samples and 5 to 37% of horse serum samples. Thirty-five of 38 (92%) horse serum samples had corresponding results on both tests (2 positive results for 26 samples and 2 negative results for 9 samples), using an ELISA for IgG antibodies or immunoblotting for total immunoglobulins. All 11 serum samples of dogs had positive results for both methods. Conclusion and Clinical Relevance - These ELISA with recombinant 44-kd antigen are suitable for detecting IgM or IgG antibodies to the HGE agent in serum samples of dogs and horses. Positive results for serum samples of horses from Connecticut, New York, Virginia, and Georgia indicate that the HGE agent is widely distributed in tick-infested areas of the eastern United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1365-1369
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of veterinary research
Volume62
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2001
Externally publishedYes

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