Conflicting results have been reported in the literature in terms of the usefulness of serological testing for IgG against food allergens in dogs with cutaneous adverse food reaction (CAFR). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the suitability of a commercially available IgG ELISA for identifying food allergens in dogs, by challenging dogs with specific food ingredients, selected on the basis of IgG reactivity in serum samples. A total of 24 adult dogs with CAFR were enrolled into the study and 16 healthy dogs were included as a control group. Blood samples were obtained for measurement of specific IgG antibodies against 39 commonly used pet food ingredients by ELISA. Participating owners were surveyed to obtain information on their pet's dietary history. Eleven healthy control dogs and 12 dogs with CAFR were subsequently challenged in a blinded cross-over design experiment with both positive and negative food ingredients, selected on the basis of the ELISA test results. There was substantial individual variation in ELISA test results to the various food allergens, but no significant difference in IgG reactivity comparing the CAFR and control groups. None of the control dogs developed any clinical signs of an allergic reaction during the dietary challenge study. In the CAFR group, six of 12 dogs developed clinical signs after the negative challenge, and two of nine dogs developed clinical signs after the positive challenge. It was concluded that the ELISA test for dietary allergen-specific IgG is of limited value in the management of dogs with CAFR.
- Cutaneous adverse food reactions
- Food allergens
- Food allergy
- IgG ELISA