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Objective—To examine the correlation between results for an indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) that uses Ehrlichia canis antigen as a substrate (ie, E canis-IFA), 2 western blot (WB) analyses, and a commercially available ELISA in the detection of E canis antibody in dog sera.
Sample Population—54 canine serum samples that were reactive on E canis-IFA and 16 canine serum samples that were E canis-IFA nonreactive.
Procedure—Serum samples were evaluated by use of 2 WB analyses and a commercially available ELISA. Correlation between results of the 3 testing modalities (ie, IFA, WB analyses, and the ELISA) was examined by use of nonreactive (E canis-IFA reciprocal titer, < 20), low-titer (reciprocal titer, 80 to 160), medium-titer (reciprocal titer, 320 to 2,560), and high-titer (reciprocal titer, 5,120 to > 20,480) serum samples.
Results—For all serum samples in the nonreactive (n = 16), medium-titer (17), and high-titer (18) groups, correlation of results among IFA, WB analyses, and the commercially available ELISA was excellent. A poor correlation was found between IFA results and those of WB analyses and the ELISA for serum samples in the low-titer group (19), with only 4 of the 19 serum samples having positive results on both WB analyses and the commercially available ELISA.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The discrepancy between E canis-IFA, WB analyses, and the commercially available ELISA results for the low-titer serum samples may be related to a high IFA sensitivity or, more likely, a lack of specificity associated with cross-reactivity among Ehrlichia spp.