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)