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Vet Dermatol. 2013 Aug;24(4):422-7, e91-2. doi: 10.1111/vde.12044. Epub 2013 Jun 8.

Cross-reaction and co-sensitization among related and unrelated allergens in canine intradermal tests.

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  • 1The University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science, Leahurst Campus, Chester High Road, Neston, Cheshire, CH64 7TE, UK.



Intradermal tests are used to identify allergens for avoidance and immunotherapy in atopic dogs.


To evaluate cross-reaction or co-sensitization among 53 intradermal test allergens.


Six hundred and fifty-one client-owned dogs with atopic dermatitis.


Intradermal tests were performed with 53 house dust/storage mite, epidermal, insect, tree, weed and grass pollen and mould allergens. Pairwise comparisons were used to calculate the odds ratios (ORs), 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and statistical significance for the results of each allergen pair, with significance at P < 0.0006 (Holm-Bonferroni correction to reduce the false-detection rate).


Apart from cotton, cockroach, red clover, grain smut and Penicillium, the results for the allergens within each group were statistically associated [ORs from 4.7 (CI 2.5-8.9) to 1229.4 (CI 166.5-1795.1); P = 0.0005 to P < 0.0001]. Excluding red clover and cotton, 94% of results between tree, weed and grass pollens were also statistically associated [ORs from 8.3 (CI 3.6-24.7) to 117 (CI 29.1-341); P = 0.0005 to P < 0.0001]. In contrast, few allergens from unrelated groups were statistically associated [ORs from 0.12 (CI 0.03-1.1) to 27.7 (CI 0.2-93); P = 1.0 to P < 0.0001]. The mean (SD) of the log e transformed ORs for the related and statistically associated allergens [5.3 (1.3)] was significantly greater than those for related but nonstatistically associated [1.7 (1.6)] or unrelated allergens [1.4 (1.4); P < 0.0001].


This suggests that there is cross-reaction or co-sensitization between related allergens. This could have implications for allergen selection in testing and immunotherapy, but further studies are required to differentiate cross-reaction from co-sensitization.

© 2013 ESVD and ACVD.

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