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Parasitology

The aim of this diagnostic area is to help the veterinarian confirm the diagnosis of the most common parasitic diseases which progress with cutaneous symptomatology.

LETI offers molecular biology (PCR) and serological (ELISA) techniques to diagnose the most common parasitic diseases.

Leishmaniasis

At LETI we offer veterinarians all the techniques needed to diagnose Leishmania, both in terms of serology and molecular biology:

Elisa Leishmania

Using the ELISA technique, from the serum of the infected animal, the production of specific immune globulins (IgG) against the parasite is detected.

This is a highly sensitive and specific test, which allows the level of antibodies to be quantified, and the evolution of the immune response to be monitored.

The IgG level result is expressed according to a % range of positivity.

The reference values are:

  • NEGATIVE: <31%
  • BORDERLINE: 32 - 35%
  • LOW POSITIVE: 35 - 80%
  • MEDIUM POSITIVE: 80 - 150%
  • HIGH POSITIVE: >150%

These values have been established according to internal studies and have been validated with the aim of minimising the borderline results.

IIF Leishmania

The IIF test (indirect immunoflourescence) is performed by placing the animal serum on some slides where Leishmania promastigotes are present.

The antibodies present in the serum fix onto the promastigotes and the positivity is seen by using fluorescent antibodies. In this test the subjective element of the operator is higher.

The reference values are:

POSITIVE: > 1/80

Quantitative PCR

Quantitative PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is a highly sensitive technique for detecting the parasite. It is based on the amplification of a particular fragment of the parasite's DNA from minimal quantities of it.

Quantitative PCR can be performed on blood samples, bone marrow, aspirated lymph node and/or skin biopsy:

  • It allows the number of parasites to be quantified from 0.1 to 10 million parasites per millimetre of sample.
  • It allows the evolution of the disease to be monitored and the parasitaemia to be scored after treatment.
  • It does not allow a distinction between infected and sick animals, and should be completed with clinical or other diagnostic techniques.

Comprehensive approach in the diagnosis of Leishmaniasis

Depending on the clinical stage which is presented (Leishvet Guidelines):

  • Mild clinical signs or papular dermatitis (stage I)
    Recommended test: IIF or ELISA + proteinogram
    Sample type: serum
  • Clinical signs evident (exfoliative dermatitis, ulcerative dermatitis, etc.), anorexia, epistaxis (stage II)
    Recommended test: IIF or ELISA + proteinogram + UPC
    Sample type: serum + urine
  • Clinical signs of stage II with signs caused by immunocomplexes deposit and kidney disease (stages III / IV)
    Recommended test: IIF or ELISA + proteinogram + UPC + creatinine + urea + GPT
    Sample type: serum + urine

Sarcoptes test

The Sarcoptes test allows sarcoptic mange to be serologically diagnosed quickly and effectively.

It is a high sensitivity (92.1%) and high specificity (94.6%) test, which allows specific antibodies (IgG) to Sarcoptes scabiei to be detected even in puppies two months old, and the evolution of the disease to be controlled after treatment.


Cutaneous scraping / Trichogram

Cutaneous scraping allows diseases like demodicosis, sarcoptic mange, notedric mange or cheyletiellosis to be diagnosed.

The trichogram, or microscopic fur examination, allows the structure of the fur, its stage of growth and the possible presence of melanin accumulation to be analysed.