An accurate diagnosis of allergen sensitization is crucial to veterinarians for prescribing treatment. Based on the differences in technique for analyzing a serum allergen-specific IgE, it is very important to determine which testing method is better in allergy diagnostics. Thus, skin testing and serological IgE testing seem to be the methods of choice for treatment decisions. Despite the intradermal allergy test being considered as “the gold standard” for the diagnosis of atopic dermatitis in pets, it has several significant restrictions. These restrictions include pregnant pets, stopping steroid treatments,
or use of anti-allergy medication prior to the testing time. Sedation, anesthesia, shaving the test site, the skin test itself and post-anesthesia boarding are amongst other factors that significantly increase the price of any skin test that makes it unaffordable for the majority of pet owners. The blood allergy (IgE) test is more convenient for patients, it is easy to perform and is free of the restrictions listed above. In contrast to humans, in animals, serological IgE and intradermal tests are considered equally important and may even replace each other.
Currently, several serological IgE determination tests provided by different companies are available for veterinary medicine. Most of these methods are ELISA (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays) based singleplex assays. This is a valid and widely used technique. In contrast to this allergy detection method, our laboratory uses the multiplex assay. This advanced new technology allows us to determine the specific IgE to different allergen components simultaneously in one single test. This commercially developed technique (by our laboratory), utilizes a very low amount of serum and produces very quick and sensitive results, identifying many specific IgEs within a single run. Our test provides comprehensive screening and detailed characterization of specific IgE reactions. This multiplex technology is accurate, very specific, and sensitive for allergy detection, which is essential for clinical decision-making on formulating specific immunotherapy for pets and for planning an elimination diet in cases of food allergies.