Detection of antibodies against avian antigens in bronchoalveolar lavage from patients with pigeon breeder's disease: usefulness of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and enzyme immunotransfer blotting

J Clin Lab Anal. 1990;4(2):81-5. doi: 10.1002/jcla.1860040202.


The study reported here evaluated the usefulness of the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in the detection of antibodies against pigeon antigens in the serum and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) of patients with clinical, radiological, and functional evidence of interstitial lung disease (ILD) with and without pigeon breeder's disease (PBD). The results were compared with those obtained by the simultaneous use of counterimmunoelectrophoresis (CIE) in the same patients. In PBD, ELISA detected antibodies against pigeon's sera in both serum and BAL in 100% of patients, while CIE failed to detect the antibodies in the serum of one patient and in most of the samples of BAL. In addition, we used enzyme immunotransfer blotting to determine the number of epitopes in pigeon serum recognized by antibodies present in serum and BAL. There was a heterogeneous response in both fluids, but the reaction pattern demonstrated that patient's sera recognize to-25 different pigeon epitopes. We conclude that ELISA is a highly sensitive and specific method for the detection of antibodies against pigeon antigens in the serum and BAL of patients with PBD and that the host response involves a great number of avian antigens.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alveolitis, Extrinsic Allergic / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / analysis*
  • Bird Fancier's Lung / complications
  • Bird Fancier's Lung / immunology*
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / immunology
  • Columbidae / immunology
  • Counterimmunoelectrophoresis
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting / methods*
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / complications
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / immunology


  • Antibodies