Objective—To use an amplified ELISA technique to
document the presence and quantify the concentration
of the house dust mite allergen, Der f 1, in skin
and coat dust samples collected from dogs.
Animals—29 pet dogs of various breeds.
Procedure—Dogs were weighed, and body surface
area in square meters was determined. Skin and coat
dust samples were obtained by vacuuming dogs.
Collected dust was analyzed by use of standard and
amplified ELISA techniques.
Results—By use of the standard ELISA technique,
Der f 1 was detected in skin and coat dust samples
from 6 of 29 (21%) dogs. Mean concentration of Der
f 1 in the 6 samples with positive assay results was
16.16 ng/mL (range, 5.61 to 31.24 ng/mL). Samples
with negative assay results were retested for dust
mite allergen by use of an amplified ELISA technique;
an additional 14 dogs had positive assay results.
Mean concentration of allergen was 0.36 ng/mL
(range, 0.19 to 2.20 ng/mL). Combining both techniques,
20 of 29 (69%) dogs had positive assay
results for Der f 1.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of our
study indicate that house dust mite allergens are present
on the skin and in the coat of dogs, and this
source of allergen may act as a reservoir for allergen
exposure in hypersensitive dogs. Use of an amplified
ELISA technique to determine environmental concentrations
of house dust mite allergens in homes and on
dogs will help to identify the relationship between
immunologic findings and environmental exposures
in dogs with atopic dermatitis. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:162–165)