Serum allergen-specific immunoglobulin E in atopic and healthy cats: comparison of a rapid screening immunoassay and complete-panel analysis

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  • 1Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Feline and canine atopic dermatitis are thought to have a similar immunopathogenesis. As with dogs, detection of allergen-specific IgE in cat serum merely supports a diagnosis of feline atopy based on compatible history, clinical signs and elimination of other pruritic dermatoses. In this study, a rapid screening immunoassay (Allercept(®) E-Screen 2nd Generation; Heska AG, Fribourg, Switzerland; ES2G) was compared with a complete-panel serum allergen-specific IgE assay (Allercept(®); Heska AG; CP) in healthy cats with no history of skin disease and in atopic cats. The latter had no diagnosis of external parasitism, infection, food hypersensitivity or other skin disease explaining their pruritus, and expressed cutaneous reaction patterns typically associated with feline allergic skin disease (head, neck or pinnal pruritus, miliary dermatitis, self-induced alopecia, eosinophilic granuloma complex). The proportion of cats positive on either the ES2G or the CP assays was not significantly different between the atopic and healthy cat groups. There was, however, strong agreement between the results of the ES2G and CP assay; overall, the two tests were in agreement for 43 of 49 (88%) serum samples. There was also strong agreement when individual allergen groups were evaluated (agreement noted: indoor, 41 of 49 samples; grasses/weeds, 37 of 49 samples; and trees, 41 of 49 samples). These results indicate that although neither test is diagnostic for feline atopic dermatitis, the screening assay is beneficial for predicting the results of a complete-panel serum allergen-specific IgE assay in cats.

© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 ESVD and ACVD.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Clinical Science, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.



To determine the prevalence of adverse food reactions (AFRs) in dogs with dermatological signs presented to the referral dermatological clinic of the University of Milan.


The medical records of dogs with dermatological signs were reviewed. Prevalence of AFRs was calculated. Owner and clinician pruritus scores were compared. Breed, sex and age predisposition were statistically tested, as was the association between AFR and selected clinical features.


The prevalence of AFRs in dogs with dermatological signs was 12% (16 of 130). AFR was diagnosed in 26% of dogs with allergic disease and 48% of those subjected to a dietary trial. There was a significant association between AFRs and early onset of clinical signs (< 1 year) (OR=3.8; P=0.0221, 95% CI=1.27 to 11.16). There was a significant association between AFRs and both otitis externa (OR=5.9; P=0.0015, 95% CI=2 to 17.9) and perianal fistula (OR=26.1; P=0.0058, 95% CI=2.52 to 269.4), although all dogs with perianal fistulas were German shepherd dogs.


The prevalence of AFRs in the study population was higher than most reported values. Further studies are warranted to investigate the true prevalence of AFR and its possible association with perianal fistula and other potential markers.

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  • 1Servizi Dermatologici Veterinari, Strada Bedale della Ressia 2, 12016, Peveragno, Cuneo, Italy.



Perianal pruritus has been reported in dogs with anal sac disease but not in healthy dogs. Some authors describe it as typical of allergy, but there is little evidence in support of this.


The aim was to investigate the association between perianal pruritus and canine atopic dermatitis (CAD), adverse food reaction (ARF) and other skin diseases in dogs.


Two hundred and fifty privately owned dogs with skin disease and without anal sac disease.


The presence or absence of perianal pruritus, macroscopic and cytological evaluation of the perianal skin surface and the macroscopic appearance of anal sac contents were assessed. Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were performed to compare the frequency of perianal pruritus with the clinical diagnoses and with clinical and cytological parameters.


Perianal pruritus was seen in 39 of 75 dogs with CAD, in 29 of 57 dogs with ARF and in only 24 of 118 dogs with other conditions. The frequency of perianal pruritus in dogs with CAD and/or ARF was significantly higher than that in dogs with other diagnoses (P < 0.0001). No other disease was significantly associated with perianal pruritus. Perianal pruritus was significantly associated with signs of perianal alopecia, erythema, excoriations, lichenification and hyperpigmentation; it was not associated with the presence of bacteria or yeasts or with anal sac impaction.


Perianal pruritus was seen more frequently in dogs with AFR/CAD than with other dermatological diseases. This is the first study to evaluate perianal pruritus in dogs with skin disease and without anal sac disease.

© 2014 ESVD and ACVD.

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