Immunoblot analysis of the immunoglobulin G response to Ehrlichia canis in dogs: an international survey.


Historically, considerable variation has been reported in the type and severity of clinical and hematologic abnormalities associated with canine ehrlichiosis. Because of difficulties associated with the isolation of intracellular monocytic Ehrlichia species in tissue culture systems, few E. canis isolates are available for comparative microbiologic studies. To address the issue of potential E. canis antigenic diversity in different regions of the world, dog sera reactive by indirect fluorescent antibody testing to E. canis (Florida) antigen were obtained from France, Israel, Italy, the United States, the Virgin Islands, and Zimbabwe. Ehrlichia canis proteins were separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and at least 5 sera from each region were stained by western immunoblotting. Antibody immunodominance was scored based upon staining intensity. There was relative homogeneity in the immunogenic protein reactions to E. canis antigens. Of the 58 E. canis reactive sera, 54 samples resulted in immunoblot patterns indicative of chronic ehrlichiosis. Four reactive sera (reciprocal titers of 160-2,560) did not recognize any genus-specific antigens resulting in protein bands between 22 and 29 kD, indicating serologic cross-reactivity with other microorganisms. Relatively homogenous immunoblot patterns, consistent with the reported immunoblot response of dogs with experimental chronic ehrlichiosis, were observed with sera from Arizona, France, Israel, North Carolina, Texas, and the Virgin Islands. In contrast, unique major proteins were observed in dog sera from Italy and Zimbabwe. Our results indicate that although relatively homogeneous, antigenic diversity may exist among E. canis organisms in different regions of the world.

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@article{Hegarty1997ImmunoblotAO, title={Immunoblot analysis of the immunoglobulin G response to Ehrlichia canis in dogs: an international survey.}, author={Barbara C. Hegarty and Michael G. Levy and R F Gager and Edward Bealmear Breitschwerdt}, journal={Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation : official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc}, year={1997}, volume={9 1}, pages={32-8} }