Red cell-reactive non-specific immunoglobulins and autoantibodies in the sera of normal and anaemic dogs

Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 1993 Dec;39(4):339-54. doi: 10.1016/0165-2427(93)90066-d.


The levels of red blood cell (RBC) membrane-reactive IgG were measured in sera from normal and anaemic dogs using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with erythrocyte ghosts as the target antigen (g-ELISA). The anaemic dogs were classified as cases of primary autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA), other anaemias with elevated levels of RBC-bound immunoglobulin detected by a direct enzyme-linked antiglobulin test (DELAT), or DELAT-negative anaemias. The g-ELISA detected IgG capable of binding RBC membranes in all the serum samples tested, and the levels were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in dogs with AIHA than in cases of DELAT-negative anaemia or in healthy animals. When sera were preabsorbed with RBC ghosts, g-ELISA readings were reduced in two of three AIHA cases that were tested, but not in dogs from any other group. There was no correlation between g-ELISA results and serum IgG levels in the cases of AIHA, but there was a significant relationship (rs = 0.74, P < 0.001) between these parameters in the dogs with other DELAT-positive anaemias. When spectrin(s) from the internal RBC membrane skeleton was used as the target antigen in the s-ELISA, sera from all groups of anaemic dogs yielded a wide range of values. Although the levels of spectrin-reactive IgG were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in AIHA cases than normal dogs, suggesting that haemolysis provoked production of anti-membrane skeleton antibodies, the highest reading was recorded in a healthy animal. It is concluded that all canine sera contain IgG non-specifically reactive with RBC membranes and that serum antibodies against the erythrocyte surface can also be detected in some dogs with primary AIHA. Distinct spectrin-reactive serum IgG antibodies can also be demonstrated in normal and AIHA positive dogs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / immunology
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / veterinary*
  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Dog Diseases / immunology*
  • Dogs / immunology*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / veterinary
  • Erythrocyte Membrane / immunology*
  • Erythrocytes / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology*
  • Spectrin / immunology


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Spectrin