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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2008;71(11-12):751-8. doi: 10.1080/15287390801985513.

Environmental exposure to allergens of different dog breeds and relevance in allergological diagnostics.

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  • 1Department of Occupational Health, Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany.


In our environment, dogs are a relevant source of allergens, but diagnosing dog-related allergies may present difficulties, as in diagnostic tests with commercial dog allergens, some patients show only slight positive or negative results, even though they suffer from dog-related symptoms. Occasionally, allergy tests with extracts of dog hair belonging to patients' dogs or from dogs of the same breed were found to yield more reliable results, possibly due to breed-specific allergen components. The purpose of this study was to determine breed-specific differences or possibly hypo- or hyperallergenic dog breeds. The dog allergen content and protein patterns of different commercial and self-prepared dog allergen extracts were compared. Protein extracts were separated using sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and stained with silver. The major allergen Can f 1 was quantified using the commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique. The majority of the bands in the self-prepared extracts of different breeds had a molecular mass lower than 30 kD. Notably, the self-prepared extracts of hair of common breeds showed distinct protein bands with a molecular mass lower than 14 kD, which the commercial extracts did not. With regard to Can f 1 content, a marked variability occurred. Factors related to individual dogs seem to influence the allergenicity more than breed or gender. This is the first report to describe allergens with low molecular mass that are absent in extracts of commercial test kits. Consequently, skin tests with self-prepared dog allergen extracts need to be performed in case of inconsistent test results with commercial extracts.

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