Serum allergen-specific immunoglobulin E in atopic and healthy cats: comparison of a rapid screening immunoassay and complete-panel analysis

Vet Dermatol. 2011 Feb;22(1):39-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3164.2010.00908.x.


Feline and canine atopic dermatitis are thought to have a similar immunopathogenesis. As with dogs, detection of allergen-specific IgE in cat serum merely supports a diagnosis of feline atopy based on compatible history, clinical signs and elimination of other pruritic dermatoses. In this study, a rapid screening immunoassay (Allercept(®) E-Screen 2nd Generation; Heska AG, Fribourg, Switzerland; ES2G) was compared with a complete-panel serum allergen-specific IgE assay (Allercept(®); Heska AG; CP) in healthy cats with no history of skin disease and in atopic cats. The latter had no diagnosis of external parasitism, infection, food hypersensitivity or other skin disease explaining their pruritus, and expressed cutaneous reaction patterns typically associated with feline allergic skin disease (head, neck or pinnal pruritus, miliary dermatitis, self-induced alopecia, eosinophilic granuloma complex). The proportion of cats positive on either the ES2G or the CP assays was not significantly different between the atopic and healthy cat groups. There was, however, strong agreement between the results of the ES2G and CP assay; overall, the two tests were in agreement for 43 of 49 (88%) serum samples. There was also strong agreement when individual allergen groups were evaluated (agreement noted: indoor, 41 of 49 samples; grasses/weeds, 37 of 49 samples; and trees, 41 of 49 samples). These results indicate that although neither test is diagnostic for feline atopic dermatitis, the screening assay is beneficial for predicting the results of a complete-panel serum allergen-specific IgE assay in cats.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / immunology
  • Cats
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / blood
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / immunology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / veterinary*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / veterinary*
  • Immunoassay / veterinary*
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Allergens
  • Immunoglobulin E