Relationship between development of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi in dogs and the subsequent development of limb/joint borreliosis

Steven A. Levy From the Durham Veterinary Hospital, 178 Parmelee Hill Rd, Durham, CT 06422 (Levy) and the Department of Entomology, The Connecticut Agricultural Experimental Station, PO Box 1106, New Haven, CT 06504 (Magnarelli).

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Louis A. Magnarelli From the Durham Veterinary Hospital, 178 Parmelee Hill Rd, Durham, CT 06422 (Levy) and the Department of Entomology, The Connecticut Agricultural Experimental Station, PO Box 1106, New Haven, CT 06504 (Magnarelli).

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Summary

The relationship between antibody production and the subsequent development of limb/joint disorders of borreliosis was examined in dogs from south central Connecticut. Dogs without signs of illness, determined by physical examination, were selected from dogs being tested for Dirofilaria immitis. An elisa was used to detect antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi in 234 apparently healthy dogs during 1988. These dogs were monitored for 20 months after initial analyses to determine the prevalence of limb/joint disorder in seropositive and seronegative dogs. Of 234 dogs from which samples were initially obtained, 125 had antibodies to B burgdorferi and 109 were seronegative. The development of limb/joint disorder (eg, lameness, swelling, and signs of pain) accompanied by lethargy, fever, and inappetence in each group was nearly equal. Rates of 4.8% (6/125) and 4.6% (5/109) were recorded for seropositive and seronegative dogs, respectively. We conclude that serosurvey of apparently healthy dogs had no predictive value for the subsequent development of limb/joint disorder.

Summary

The relationship between antibody production and the subsequent development of limb/joint disorders of borreliosis was examined in dogs from south central Connecticut. Dogs without signs of illness, determined by physical examination, were selected from dogs being tested for Dirofilaria immitis. An elisa was used to detect antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi in 234 apparently healthy dogs during 1988. These dogs were monitored for 20 months after initial analyses to determine the prevalence of limb/joint disorder in seropositive and seronegative dogs. Of 234 dogs from which samples were initially obtained, 125 had antibodies to B burgdorferi and 109 were seronegative. The development of limb/joint disorder (eg, lameness, swelling, and signs of pain) accompanied by lethargy, fever, and inappetence in each group was nearly equal. Rates of 4.8% (6/125) and 4.6% (5/109) were recorded for seropositive and seronegative dogs, respectively. We conclude that serosurvey of apparently healthy dogs had no predictive value for the subsequent development of limb/joint disorder.

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