The aim of this study was to compare three different enzyme-linked immunosorbant assays (recombinant major antigenic protein 2 (rMAP2)-ELISA, the Immunocomb® (Biogal, Israel) and the Snap® 3Dx assay (IDEXX Laboratories Inc., USA)) with the indirect immunofluorescent antibody test in detecting anti-Ehrlichia canis immunoglobulin-G (IgG) antibodies. Samples tested were collected from dogs suspected to be naturally infected with E. canis and from experimentally infected dogs. When qualitative results (positive/negative) were compared, there was an overall agreement of 81% (54/67) between the indirect immunofluorescence antibody (IFA) test and the rMAP2-ELISA. An overall agreement of 94% (63/67) was found between the IFA test and the Immunocomb®, and an overall agreement of 91% (61/67) was found between the IFA test and the Snap® 3Dx assay. In 50 of 67 (74.6%) samples tested, complete agreement in the qualitative results was found in all four tests. Sixteen of 17 samples with disagreement in the qualitative results were found to have IFA titers of 1:320 or less. The sensitivities and specificities of the tests were found to be 0.71 and 0.85 for the rMAP2-ELISA, 0.86 and 0.98 for the Immunocomb®, and 0.71 and 1.00 for the Snap® 3Dx assay. The tests performed in this study were found to be highly specific in detecting E. canis antibodies. Their sensitivity was found to be low with sera having IFA titers of ≦1:320, while high with sera having titers greater than 1:320. Repeating the serological tests 1-2 weeks after the first antibody assay may overcome the sensitivity problem with titers of ≦1:320.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported in part by grants from the Division of Sponsored Research, University of Florida, Projects UPN# 98062369 and UPN# 01031471.
- Ehrlichia canis