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To evaluate the utility of enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) for the detection of Coccidioides antigen and antibody in CSF in the diagnosis of CNS coccidioidomycosis in dogs.


51 dogs evaluated for CNS disease in a single specialty center in Tucson in 2016.


Excess CSF after routine analysis was banked after collection from dogs presented to the neurology service. Samples were tested by EIA for presence of Coccidioides antigen and antibody. Clinical data were collected from medical records retrospectively.


22 dogs were diagnosed with CNS coccidioidomycosis (CCM) or another neurologic disease (non-CCM). These groups of dogs overlapped in the presenting complaints, MRI results, and routine CSF analysis results. Four dogs, all with CCM, had positive antigen EIA results. With clinical diagnosis used as the reference standard, CSF antigen testing had low sensitivity (20%) but high specificity (100%) for diagnosis of CCM. Ten dogs with CCM and 4 dogs with other diagnoses had antibody detected in CSF by EIA. Sensitivity of CSF antibody testing was 46%, specificity was 86%, and positive and negative predictive values for the study population were 71% and 68%, respectively.

Clinical Relevance

Diagnosis of CNS coccidioidomycosis in dogs in an endemic region was hampered by overlap of clinical signs with other neurologic disorders and the low sensitivity of confirmatory diagnostics. The evaluated Coccidioides-specific EIAs performed on CSF can aid in the diagnosis. A prospective study is warranted to corroborate and refine these preliminary findings

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for antibodies to a recombinant Blastomyces adhesin-1 repeat antigen (rBAD-1) to aid in the diagnosis of blastomycosis in dogs and compare the findings with results from other tests used for this purpose.

Design—Prospective analytic study.

Sample—Serum and urine from 70 dogs with and without blastomycosis.

Procedures—Serum and urine samples were collected from dogs with blastomycosis (n = 21), histoplasmosis (8), or nonfungal pulmonary disease (21) and from healthy control dogs living in a blastomycosis-endemic area (20). Serum was tested for antibodies against Blastomyces dermatitidis with the rBAD-1 antibody EIA and an A-antigen antibody agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) assay. Serum and urine were tested for B dermatitidis antigen with a quantitative EIA.

Results—Sensitivity of the quantitative antigen EIA was 100% in serum and urine samples from dogs with blastomycosis, with specificity of 95% in urine samples from dogs with nonfungal pulmonary disease and 100% in urine samples from healthy dogs. Sensitivity of the rBAD-1 antibody EIA (95%) was significantly greater than that of the A-antigen antibody AGID assay (65%). Specificity of the antibody EIA was 88% in dogs with histoplasmosis, 95% in healthy dogs, and 100% in dogs with nonfungal pulmonary disease.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The rBAD-1 antibody EIA had greater sensitivity than the A-antigen antibody AGID assay in dogs with blastomycosis. This antibody EIA may assist in distinguishing histoplasmosis from blastomycosis. Further evaluation in a larger prospective study is needed to verify these results.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association