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Diagnostic Value of ELISA Tests for the Detection of Specific Antibodies in Cats and Rabbits with Dermatophytosis

Petra Zrimšek1* and Marinka Drobnič-Košorok2


1
Clinic for Reproduction and Horses, Veterinary Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Gerbičeva 60, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

2Institute of Physiology, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Veterinary Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Gerbičeva 60, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Article history:

Received: March 29, 2002
Accepted: June 18, 2002

Key words:

ELISA, diagnostic evaluation, rabbit, cat, dermatophytes

Summary:

Two indirect ELISA tests developed for the detection of specific IgG in cats and rabbits, infected with M. canis and T. mentagrophytes, respectively, were evaluated and compared. The levels of specific antibodies were determined in sera of 20 cats and 25 rabbits naturally infected with M. canis and T. mentagrophytes, respectively. Infection was confirmed by the results of fungal culture. Blood samples from 12 cats and 17 rabbits, previously unexposed to dermatophytes, served as negative controls. A significant increase in the level of specific antibodies in groups of infected animals was demonstrated. Sensitivity, specificity and predictive values of a positive and a negative test were determined to evaluate the diagnostic potential. ELISA for the detection of specific antibodies in cats infected with M. canis (ELISA-cats test) exhibited 75.0 % of sensitivity at 91.7 % of specificity, whereas the test for the detection of specific antibodies in rabbits, infected with T. mentagrophytes (ELISA-rabbits test) is highly sensitive (96.0 %) and highly specific (94.1 %), confirming its encouraging diagnostic potential. The cross-reactivity of fungal antigens was tested by performing the assays with antigens M. canis, T. mentagrophytes, M. pachydermatis and A. fumigatus. There were no significant indications of cross-reactions in the test T. mentagrophytes-rabbits, whereas strong cross-reaction between dermatophyte antigens was observed in the test M. canis-cats.



*Corresponding author:           petra.zrimsek@vf.uni-lj.si
                                               ++386 14 779 271
                                               ++386 12 832 243

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