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Equine Culicoides Hypersensitivity: Update of tests
Equine Culicoides Hypersensitivity still remains one of the most important (skin) diseases in horses, affecting many breeds in various countries. Still there are controversies in the diagnosis. How reliable are serum tests, and are intradermal skin tests really superior to them? An interesting brandnew study from Italy!

Intradermal tests were carried out on 18 horses with clinical signs of Culicoides hypersensitivity (CHS) and 23 horses without clinical signs of CHS, and sera from these horses were analysed by SDS-PAGE and Western blotting (W-B).

Intradermal injections of 0.1 ml of 25 ìg/ìl sterile Culicoides extract, 0.1 ml of 1 : 10 000 histamine (positive control) and 0.1 ml of physiological saline (negative control) were made in the dermis of the middle region of the neck.

Analysis of reactions indicated that a 1 cm wheal and a skinfold thickness >10% at 24 h represented a valid cut-off between horses with and without CHS.

In these conditions the test, even in winter when clinical signs were absent, had 100% sensitivity and specificity.

The W-B was performed after running Culicoides extract on a 12% polyacrylamide gel.
The test revealed the presence of several bands with molecular weight ranging from 6 to 200 kDa.

In particular, a band of 65 kDa was predominantly found in hypersensitive horses by using an anti-IgE antibody while in normal horses the same band was mainly detected by using an anti-IgG antibody.

Our results demonstrated that the skin test is a valid diagnostic test, with high sensitivity and specificity and that the band of about 65 kDa probably corresponds to the allergen involved in the pathogenesis of CHS.



Source: Ferroglio, E., Pregel, P., Accossato, A., Taricco, I., Bollo, E., Rossi, L. & Trisciuoglio, A. (2006): Equine Culicoides Hypersensitivity: Evaluation of a Skin Test and of Humoral Response.
Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series A 53 (1), 30-33.





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