Serum IgE and IgG responses to dietary antigens in dogs with and without cutaneous adverse food reactions

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BACKGROUND: It is suspected that many canine cutaneous adverse food reactions (CAFR) are true immunological hypersensitivities; however, few specific dietary allergens have been identified. OBJECTIVE: To compare serum immunoglobulin (Ig)E and IgG reactivity to specific food antigens in privately owned dogs with and without CAFR. ANIMALS: Eighteen adult dogs with nonseasonal pruritus recruited from a hospital population. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Dogs were fed an extensively hydrolysed poultry-based diet exclusively for 12 weeks. Serum was collected at the beginning of the trial. Canine atopic dermatitis extent and severity index and pruritus Visual Analog Scale scoring were performed at the beginning and end of the trial. Immunoblotting was performed to identify IgE and/or IgG binding to specific proteins in beef, egg, milk, chicken, pork, soy and wheat extracts. RESULTS: A CAFR (defined as an unequivocal relapse of pruritus after dietary challenge) was diagnosed in 10 dogs, with 60% relapsing when fed chicken-based diets. Binding of subjects' IgG to almost all proteins in all extracts was seen regardless of reported dietary history. Few proteins were exclusively or predominantly bound by IgE in CAFR dogs. Exceptions included a 42 kDa band (chicken), a 52 kDa band (beef), a 46 kDa band (beef and milk) and a poorly defined high molecular weight protein or proteins (beef and milk). CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated three protein bands and a poorly defined band predominantly recognized by sera from dogs with CAFR relative to non-CAFR dog sera. Almost all proteins were bound by IgG in all dogs, suggesting prior exposure to unreported foods.

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Veterinary dermatology

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