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Developing an antibody test to identify dogs infected with lungworm

A. Schucan, M. Schnyder, I. Tanner, D. Barutzki, D. Traversa, P. Deplazes

Angiostrongylus vasorum is a nematode parasite that infects the pulmonary artery and right ventricle in dogs and can be fatal if left untreated. The usual diagnostic technique is based on the isolation of first stage larvae from the faeces. This study aimed to determine the diagnostic value of the detection of specific antibodies against A vasorum. Antibodies against three parasite antigens were investigated using ELISAs: A vasorum adult somatic antigen, adult excretory/secretory (E/S) antigen and first stage larvae (L1) somatic antigen. The adult somatic antigen was also purified using monoclonal antibodies and this purified antigen was evaluated using a sandwich-ELISA.

The sensitivities observed when testing 21 naturally infected dogs were 85.7 per cent, 76.2 per cent, 42.9 per cent and 81 per cent for the adult, E/S, L1 and purified adult antigens respectively. In experimentally inoculated dogs the sensitivity ranged from 97.7 to 100 per cent and the specificity was 98.8 per cent with all antigens using the sera of 82 randomly selected dogs. Cross reactivity was also assessed using other parasitic …

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