Canine hepatozoonosis is a tick-borne protozoal disease caused in the Old World and South America by Hepatozoon canis. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using purified H. canis gamont antigen was applied for the detection of antibodies reactive with H. canis. Evaluation of the ELISA with sera from naturally infected parasitemic dogs indicated that it was sensitive (86%), specific (97%), and comparable to the indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) for the detection of H. canis antibodies. A variable degree of serologic cross-reactivity was found between sera from H. americanum-infected dogs and the H. canis antigen. Dogs experimentally infected with H. canis seroconverted 1-4 weeks post-infection (PI). Antibody levels peaked at 7-9 weeks PI and gradually declined thereafter remaining above the cut-off value until the conclusion of the study 7 months PI. The ELISA will be valuable for serological evaluation of dogs suspected of exposure to H. canis and for epidemiological studies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Dr. Philip H. Kass for his assistance in the statistical analysis of the results. This study was partially funded by Merial Ltd., Lyon, France.
- Hepatozoon americanum
- Hepatozoon canis
- Rhipicephalus sanguineus