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  • 1 Zaragoza University, Miguel Servet 177, 50013 Zaragoza, Spain
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Allergic conditions are prevalent equine diseases that can be diagnosed by clinical examination alone, but definitive diagnosis is more likely with laboratory testing. The ELISA Allercept© test was used to analyse the serum samples of 73 horses with allergic diseases. Sixty-one horses (83.5%) had allergen-specific IgE levels ≥ 150 ELISA Units (EU), the cut-off defined by the assay. Fifty-four horses had allergic dermatitis (AD) with high IgE levels to Tyrophagus putrescentiae (51.9%), Rumex crispus (48.1%), Tabanus (46.3%) and Dermatophagoides farinae/ D. pteronyssinus (40.7%). Seven horses with recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) had a high prevalence of T. putrescentiae (85.7%), followed by that of Acarus siro (57.1%) and D. farinae/D. pteronyssinus (57.1%). Horses affected with RAO had more positive reactions to mites (2.22 ± 0.84) than did horses with AD (1.51 ± 0.61, P < 0.05). A strong correlation of serum allergen-specific IgE level was found between Culex tarsalis and Stomoxys (r = 0.943) and between Dactylis glomerata and both Secale cereale (r = 0.79) and R. crispus (r = 0.696). These results indicate that among horses with allergic diseases in Spain, ELISA tests demonstrated a high prevalence of serum allergen-specific IgE in response to mites. Our study emphasises the importance of laboratory testing and updating allergy panels to improve the likelihood of a definitive diagnosis and the identification of allergens that should be included in allergic disease treatment.

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