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Keywords:

  • atopic dermatitis;
  • canine;
  • ELISA;
  • IgE;
  • IgG;
  • Malassezia

Abstract

Significant numbers of humans with atopic dermatitis develop Malassezia-specific IgE. Immediate skin-test reactivity to Malassezia has been demonstrated in atopic dogs. The aim of this study was to compare the serum IgG and IgE response to Malassezia in atopic dogs with and without clinical evidence of Malassezia dermatitis and/or otitis, nonatopic dogs with clinical evidence of Malassezia dermatitis and/or otitis and healthy dogs. Cytology was used to diagnose clinically significant Malassezia dermatitis and otitis. Contact plate cultures confirmed the validity of this technique. Reproducible enzyme-linked immunosorbant assays for Malassezia-specific IgG and IgE in canine serum were established. Atopic dogs had significantly higher serum IgG and IgE levels than either healthy dogs or nonatopic dogs with clinical evidence of Malassezia dermatitis and/or otitis. There was no significant difference in IgG and IgE levels between atopic dogs with and without clinical evidence of Malassezia dermatitis and/or otitis. The implications of these findings in the pathogenesis and management of canine atopic dermatitis are discussed.