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To evaluate the effectiveness of a commercially available ELISA kit for detecting antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi in dogs.
Banked sera from 440 military working dogs were used for serologic analyses.
Serum samples were analyzed for antibodies against B burgdorferi by use of a commercially available ELISA and subsequently by western blot analysis as a confirmatory test.
Results from the ELISA indicated that 89 (20%) samples were positive for exposure to B burgdorferi or canine
Lyme disease vaccine, and 351 (80%) were negative. Follow-up testing by western blot analysis indicated that results for 109 (25%) samples were positive and 331 (75%) were negative for exposure. All samples that had positive results on the ELISA also had positive results on western blot analysis (true positives). Of the 351 samples that had negative results on the ELISA, only 331 had negative results on western blot analysis (true negatives). The remaining 20 samples had positive results on western blot analysis. By use of a standard 2 x 2 table, it was determined that the ELISA had a sensitivity of 82%, specificity of 100%, positive predictive value of 100%, and negative predictive value of 94%.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:
The commercial ELISA kit evaluated in this study appeared to lack adequate sensitivity for detecting all potential cases of borreliosis in dogs. The ELISA was also unable to discriminate natural exposure from exposure attributable to vaccination, which could complicate interpretation of positive results and treatment of dogs with clinical signs.