Allergen-specific IgE levels against crude mould and storage mite extracts and recombinant mould allergens in sera from horses affected with chronic bronchitis

Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2000 Mar 15;73(3-4):241-53. doi: 10.1016/s0165-2427(00)00154-9.


Immunoglobulin E antibody (IgE) levels against four recombinant (r) mould allergens (r-Aspergillus fumigatus [rAsp f] 7, 8 and 9; r-Alternaria alternata 1 [rAlta1]) and crude mould (Aspergillus fumigatus, Alternaria alternata, Penicillium notatum) and storage mite extracts were determined by ELISA in sera from 24 pulmonary sound control horses and 26 horses suffering from chronic bronchitis/bronchiolitis (CB), also called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Serum IgG and IgA titres were also determined against Aspergillus fumigatus extract and rAsp f 8.IgE against the crude extracts could be measured in all sera, but there was no significant difference between CB-affected and control horses. In contrast, only 8-30% of the horses, depending on the r-allergen tested, had detectable IgE levels in serum against the r-allergens. Horses with CB had significantly more often detectable IgE levels than controls against rAlt a 1 (10/26 and 3/24, respectively, p=0. 054), rAsp f 7 (13/26 and 2/24, respectively, p<0.01) and rAsp f 8 (11/26 and 1/24, respectively, p<0.01). Only four horses (three CB-affected and one healthy, p0.05) had detectable IgE levels against rAsp f 9. Furthermore, CB-affected horses were often sensitised against two or more r-allergens (13/26 of the CB-affected horses) while only one of the 24 healthy horses had positive IgE levels against more than one r-allergens. Similarly to IgE levels, no significant differences between CB-affected and healthy horses were found for IgG titres against the Aspergillus fumigatus extract. However, horses with CB had significantly higher serum IgG titres against rAsp f 8 than healthy controls (median=28 versus 10 relative ELISA units [REU], p<0.01). Additionally, horses with detectable IgE titres against rAsp f 8 had significantly higher IgG titres against this r-allergen than horses with undetectable IgE titres (median IgG titres=46 and 13 REU, respectively; p<0.01). For serum IgA titres, neither differences between healthy and CB-affected animals nor correlations between IgA and IgG or IgE titres could be found. These results show that horses suffering from CB are more often sensitised to some Aspergillus fumigatus and Alternaria alternata allergens than control horses and that they are partly sensitised to the same fungal proteins as mould-allergic human patients. Furthermore, this study shows that r-allergens allow a much more sensitive determination of specific serum antibody levels by ELISA than crude mould extracts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Alternaria / immunology
  • Animals
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / veterinary
  • Female
  • Fungal Proteins / immunology
  • Horse Diseases / immunology*
  • Horse Diseases / microbiology
  • Horses
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin E / analysis*
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / immunology
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / microbiology
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / veterinary*
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / immunology
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / microbiology
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Mites / immunology*
  • Mitosporic Fungi / immunology*
  • Penicillium / immunology
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology


  • Allergens
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin E