The chronological development of the serum IgE and IgG response to microfilaria, third and fourth stage larvae, and male and female adult Dirofilaria immitis was examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot (EITB). Dirofilaria immitis-specific IgE and IgG levels peaked 16-18 weeks post-infection after increasing in response to the fourth larval molt. Specific IgG levels plateaued after patency, while IgE continued to decline. The use of ammonium sulfate cut sera showed there was no quenching or blocking of IgE binding by IgG in the ELISA and EITB methods used in this study. IgE-specific EITB showed 30-49 bands for the five respective extracts that were identified by Mr or relative mobility. Eighty-five to 100 bands were visualized by IgG-specific EITB for the same five extracts. The isotype-specific ELISA and EITB were shown to be closely related by significant correlations (P < 0.0001) between S/N ratios and the number of bands found on blots. The isotype-specific EITB bands non-specifically recognized were greater in size than 21 kDa for IgG and 45 kDa for IgE. Recognition of bands changed over time with some bands being recognized only by prepatent sera. Ten antigen bands of seven Mr were consistently and specifically recognized by IgE in the five-stage extracts by sera from prepatent and patent infections; only one such Mr at 13.9 kDa, was described for IgG. A potentially diagnostic 31.9 kDa antigen band was identified on the IgE-specific EITB of D. immitis female extract and was shown to be recognized by IgE in sera from all infected dogs at all time points examined from 2 weeks until 1 year post-inoculation. Overall, IgE reactivity was more specific for D. immitis infections than IgG reactivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology