Patzl M, Mostl E
Enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) for the determination of autoanti-bodies (AA) to thyroid antigens in canine serum were developed. Streptavidin (SA) was immobilized as capture molecule on microtitreplates (MTP). Thyroglobulin (Tg) purified from canine thyroids and the thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine (T3 and T4) were conjugated to biotin labelling reagents and attached to the MTP over the SA-biotin bridge. Bound AA were detected with anti-dog-immunoglobulin G (IgG) labelled with horseradish peroxidase. Serum samples from dogs which were allotted to four groups were analysed: A (n = 31), biochemical evidence of hypothyroidism; B (n = 76), clinical signs of hypothyroidism; C (n = 47), euthyroid with non-thyroidal disease; D (n = 186), clinically healthy. The validity of the assays was tested with two different methods. After thiophilic absorption chromatography of positive sera, a positive reaction in the EIA was only detected in those fractions which coeluted with the canine IgG standard. Furthermore, the positive reaction was blocked by the addition of the corresponding antigen. In 55% of the hypothyroid dogs AA to Tg and/or T3 and T4, respectively, were found (up to a titre of 1 : 1600). In group B 34% of the dogs were diagnosed positive, but the titre was lower (up to 1 : 400). In the groups C and D the number of dogs with AA and their titre was significantly lower. Two different methods for distinguishing positive and negative test results were compared in order to increase the specificity of the tests without decreasing the sensitivity. The EIAs are precise and based on high agreement with previous reported assays able to discriminate dogs with thyroiditis from healthy ones. These assays represent a good alternative to the isotope assays generally used for the analysis of AA to T4 and T3.