Objective—To evaluate differences in response to ID injection of histamine, phytohemagglutinin (PHA), and Aspergillus organisms between clinically normal horses and horses with recurrent airway obstruction (RAO).
Animals—5 healthy adult horses and 5 adult horses with RAO.
Procedure—Intradermal testing (IDT) was performed on the neck with 2 positive control substances (histamine and PHA) and a mixture comprising 5 Aspergillus species. Four concentrations of each test substance plus a negative control substance were used. Equal volumes (0.1 mL) of each test substance were prepared to yield 15 syringes ([4 concentrations of each test substance plus 1 negative control substance] times 3 test substances) for each side of each horse (ie, 30 syringes/horse). Intradermal injections were administered; diameter of wheals was recorded 0.5, 4, and 24 hours after injection.
Results—Hypersensitive responses to ID injection of histamine were detected 0.5 hours after injection, and a delay in wheal formation after ID injection of Aspergillus mixture 24 hours after injection was detected in RAO-affected horses but was not observed in clinically normal horses. No differences were detected between the 2 groups after ID injection of PHA.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—RAO-affected horses are hypersensitive to histamine, suggesting that RAO is associated with a heightened vascular response to histamine. Higher concentrations of Aspergillus mixture may be needed to detect horses that are sensitive to this group of antigens. Wheal reactions to Aspergillus may be a delayed response, suggesting that IDT results should be evaluated 0.5, 4, and 24 hours after ID injection. (Am J Vet Res2005;66:1348–1355)