Evaluation of an in vitro sulphidoleukotriene release test for diagnosis of insect bite hypersensitivity in horses

Baselgia, S; Doherr, M G; Mellor, P; Torsteinsdottir, S; Jermann, T; Zurbriggen, Andreas; Jungi, Thomas; Marti, Eliane Isabelle (2006). Evaluation of an in vitro sulphidoleukotriene release test for diagnosis of insect bite hypersensitivity in horses. Equine veterinary journal, 38(1), pp. 40-6. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell 10.2746/042516406775374333

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: Insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH) is an IgE-mediated allergic dermatitis caused by bites of Culicoides and Simulium species, and improved means of diagnosis are required. OBJECTIVES: The cellular antigen simulation test (CAST) with C. nubeculosus and S. vittatum extracts was assessed in a population of IBH-affected and healthy horses. Variations in test results over a one year period and possible cross-reactivity between different insect extracts was studied. METHODS: A total of 314 mature horses were studied using the CAST. Influence of severity of clinical signs, gender and age were evaluated, and 32 horses were tested repeatedly over one year. The kappa reliability test was used to assess agreement of the test results with different insect extracts. RESULTS: Horses with IBH had significantly higher sLT release than controls with C. nubeculosus and S. vittatum. The highest diagnostic sensitivity and specificity levels were attained when using adult C. nubeculosus extracts with the CAST (78% and 97%, respectively), suggesting that most horses with IBH are sensitised against Culicoides allergens. A proportion of IBH-affected horses was found to be sensitised to allergens of Simulium spp. in addition to those of C. nubeculosus. The CAST with C. nubeculosus had positive and negative predictive values > or = 80% for a true prevalence of IBH of 12-52%. In the follow-up study, the proportion of IBH-affected horses with a positive test result ranged from 90% in November to 68% in March. Severity of clinical signs or age did not influence test results significantly. However, IBH-affected males achieved significantly more positive test results than IBH-affected females. CONCLUSIONS: The CAST with adult C. nubeculosus has high specificity and good sensitivity for diagnosis of IBH. Horses with IBH are mainly sensitised to Culicoides allergens, and some horses are additionally also sensitised to allergens in Simulium spp. POTENTIAL RELEVANCE: The CAST is likely to be a useful test for diagnosis of IBH, even allowing the identification of IBH-affected but asymptomatic horses. This test may also help in further characterisation of allergens involved in this condition.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > DVK - Clinical Research [discontinued]
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Experimental Clinical Research
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Virology and Immunology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > DKV - Clinical Immunology [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Doherr, Marcus, Zurbriggen, Andreas (A), Jungi, Thomas, Marti, Eliane Isabelle






Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:45

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:32

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/18639 (FactScience: 840)

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback