Serologic detection of Angiostrongylus vasorum ...
|Title||Serologic detection of Angiostrongylus vasorum infection in dogs|
|Author(s)||I. Verzberger-Epshtein, R. J. Markham, J. A. Sheppard, H. Stryhn, H. Whitney, G. A. Conboy|
|Abstract||Angiostrongylus vasorum, French Heartworm, is a metastrongylid nematode infecting the pulmonary arteries and right heart of wild and domestic canids in various regions of the world. Infection in dogs can result in fatal cardiopulmonary disease. A single endemic focus of A. vasorum in North America occurs in the southeastern portion of Newfoundland, Canada. Dogs are currently diagnosed by detection of first-stage larvae shed in feces using the Baermann technique or fecal flotation. However, these procedures may lack sensitivity due to intermittent fecal larval shedding. The potential for using detection of circulating worm antigen for diagnosis was investigated by developing a sandwich-ELISA using rabbit anti-whole adult worm antiserum. This test detected circulating antigen in sera from 22/24 Baermann positive dogs naturally infected with A. vasorum. Negative results (0/52) were obtained from sera collected from Baermann negative dogs from outside of the endemic region, and from sera (0/30) from dogs from non-endemic regions that were infected with Crenosoma vulpis, the fox lung worm. Receiver operating curve analysis gave a specificity of 100% and a sensitivity of 92% for the sandwich-ELISA at an optical density cut-off of 0.19. Subsequently, 239 dogs from Newfoundland displaying clinical signs of cardiopulmonary disease, were examined using both the Baermann fecal examination and the sandwich-ELISA. Larvae were detected in 10% (24/239) of these dogs by fecal examination, whereas the sandwich-ELISA detected circulating antigen of A. vasorum in serum from 18.8% (45/239) of the dogs. This suggests that fecal diagnostics may have missed approximately half of the A. vasorum infected dogs, and that the sandwich-ELISA may be a useful tool in the diagnosis of this parasite.|
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