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J Vet Med Sci. 2011 Oct;73(10):1309-17. Epub 2011 Jun 15.

Flow cytometric analysis of lymphocyte proliferative responses to food allergens in dogs with food allergy.

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  • 1Fujimura Animal Hospital, Minou, Osaka, Japan.


Two different allergy tests, antigen-specific immunoglobulin E quantification (IgE test) and flow cytometric analysis of antigen-specific proliferation of peripheral lymphocytes (lymphocyte proliferation test), were performed to examine differences in allergic reactions to food allergens in dogs with food allergy (FA). Thirteen dogs were diagnosed as FA based on clinical findings and elimination diet trials. Seven dogs clinically diagnosed with canine atopic dermatitis (CAD) were used as a disease control group, and 5 healthy dogs were used as a negative control group. In the FA group, 19 and 33 allergen reactions were identified using the serum IgE test and the lymphocyte proliferation test, respectively. Likewise, in the CAD group, 12 and 6 allergen reactions and in the healthy dogs 3 and 0 allergen reactions were identified by each test, respectively. A significant difference was found between FA and healthy dogs in terms of positive allergen detection by the lymphocyte proliferation test, suggesting that the test can be useful to differentiate FA from healthy dogs but not from CAD. Both tests were repeated in 6 of the dogs with FA after a 1.5- to 5-month elimination diet trial. The IgE concentrations in 9 of 11 of the positive reactions decreased by 20-80%, whereas all the positive reactions in the lymphocyte proliferation test decreased to nearly zero (P<0.05), suggesting that lymphocytes against food allergens may be involved in the pathogenesis of canine FA.

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