Maik Mettler, 2005
Vetsuisse-Fakultät Universität Zürich, Institut für Parasitologie
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) based on soluble antigens derived from promastigote or amastigote-like stages of Leishmania infantum and on the recombinant rK39 antigen, each in combination with different conjugates (anti-IgG1, anti-IgG2, anti-IgG-gamma, anti-IgG h&l), were compared to an immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT) and two commercially available rapid test systems, based on the rK39 antigen (DiaMed-Vet-IT Leish and ID-PaGIA Leishmaniasis antibody test) for the detection of specific anti-Leishmania antibodies in symptomatic and asymptomatic dogs with proven (culture or PCR) L. infantum infections. ELISAs based on soluble promastigote and amastigote antigens had very high sensitivities in symptomatic (n=30; 100%) as well as in asymptomatic dogs (n=17; 94.1 - 100%) except when combined with the anti-IgG1 conjugate (41.2 - 82.4%). Specificities were high for all combinations (n=50; 96 to 100%). The rK39 ELISA detected less asymptomatic cases (sensitivities 52.9 - 64.7%) but was highly specific (96 - 100%). The IFAT was 90% sensitive in symptomatic dogs but was significantly less sensitive in asymptomatic cases (29.4%). However, it had an excellent specificity of 100%. Test performances of the rapid tests were comparable to the rK39 based ELISAs. For confirmation of clinically suspected cases and for the detection of asymptomatic carrier dogs, an ELISA based on promastigote derived antigens combined with IgG-gamma-specific detection antibodies proved to be most useful (p-IgG-gamma-ELISA).
Owners of dogs with suspected or proven leishmaniosis living in Central Europe (D, A, CH), were questioned about their dog’s history. For this purpose, a downloadable questionnaire was made available to the participants of a Leishmania internet discussion forum. Additionally, serologic examinations of the dogs for the presence of specific anti-Leishmania antibodies by the p-IgGg-ELISA were offered to the participants. A total of 111 of 291 dogs (38%) imported or returning from Southern Europe were serologically positive; 103 being imported and 8 travelling dogs. No significant correlation could be established between race, sex and age and the incidence of the disease. Reported symptoms ranged from mild to severe clinical manifestations. For diagnostics and therapy, dog owners had spent an average of Euro 1,100 (median Euro 900, maximum Euro 5,800).Deutsche Version