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Comparison of indirect immunofluorescent-antibody assay, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and Western immunoblot for the diagnosis of Lyme disease in dogs.

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Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), indirect immunofluorescent-antibody assay (IFA), and Western immunoblot were used to test serum samples from 128 dogs for the presence of antibody to Borrelia burgdorferi. Sera included 72 samples from dogs suspected of having
Lyme disease, 32 samples from dogs residing in areas in which
Lyme disease was not considered endemic, and 24 samples from dogs with clinical and serologic evidence of immune-mediated
disease (n = 10), Rocky Mountain spotted fever (n = 5), or leptospirosis (n = 9). Results of Western immunoblotting were used as the standard against which performances of ELISA and IFA were measured. ELISA was significantly more sensitive than IFA (84.8 versus 66.7%), although both tests were equally specific (93.5%). Eight samples that were positive by Western immunoblot were simultaneously negative by ELISA and IFA. Of these eight, four were from dogs suspected of having immune-mediated
disease, two were from dogs suspected of having leptospirosis, and two were from dogs suspected of having
Lyme disease. These results may indicate that sera from dogs with immune-mediated
disease, and to a lesser extent sera from those with leptospirosis, cross-react with B. burgdorferi antigens. Alternatively, Western immunoblot results may not truly reflect
Lyme disease status, particularly in the case of dogs with immune-mediated diseases. At present, however, the use of Western immunoblotting as a diagnostic standard for dogs offers the best alternative to a clinical definition of

J Clin Microbiol. 1990 Jan;28(1):92-6. Comparative Study; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t

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