Toxoplasma gondii Antigen Recognition Patterns in Seropositive Dogs With and Without Acute Polyradiculoneuritis
ACVIM 2008
N. Holt1; L. Pearce1; P. Cuddon2; J.R. Hawley1; M.R. Lappin1
1Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA; 2Alameda East Veterinary Hospital, Denver, CO, USA

Acute Canine Polyradiculoneuritis (ACP) is the most commonly recognized peripheral neuropathy in dogs and is thought to have multiple causes. The disease in dogs is similar to Guillain-Barre Syndrome in humans, which has been associated with molecular mimicry to antigens of infectious agents such as Campylobacter jejuni and Toxoplasma gondii. In a previous study, prevalence rates of antibodies to selected infectious agents were calculated for dogs with and without ACP and an association between ACP and positive T. gondii IgG antibody titers determined by ELISA was shown. The objective of this follow-up study was to use western blot immunoassay (WB) to compare T. gondii antigen recognition patterns between T. gondii IgG positive dogs with and without ACP to determine whether a unique pattern exists in dogs with ACP.

Archived sera from T. gondii IgG ELISA positive dogs were selected based exclusively on sample availability. Sera from 24 dogs with clinical findings consistent with ACP evaluated by one of the investigators (PC) and 12 age- and state-matched dogs without clinical evidence of ACP were assayed in an optimized IgG heavy chain-specific, WB assay using T. gondii RH1 strain as the antigen source. A single investigator determined the apparent molecular masses of the recognized antigens using digital images of the blots and a commercially available software program.

Serum antibodies from 8 affected dogs and 11 control dogs bound to Toxoplasma gondii antigens. Overall, antigens with apparent molecular masses of 67, 61, 58, 45, 36, 33, 24, 9 and 6 kD were recognized by the 19 positive dogs. Antigen recognition patterns varied between the groups.

 

Molecular mass (kD)

Group

67

61

58

45

36

33

24

9

6

Dogs with ACP

1

1

1

1

2

3

1

1

5

Dogs without ACP

3

3

4

7

0

7

3

1

8

An antigen with an apparent molecular mass of 36 kD was recognized by two dogs with ACP but none of the control dogs. Further work is indicated to determine whether this finding is reproducible in a larger sample set and to determine whether this antigen is immunologically similar to those associated with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in humans.

Speaker Information
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Natalee Holt


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