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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

The dog as a genetic model for immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency: Identification of several breeds with low serum IgA concentrations

Olsson, Mia; Bergvall, Kerstin; Hamlin, Helene; Sundberg, Katarina; Hedhammar, Åke; Hammarström, Lennart


Immunoglobulin A (IgA) serves as the basis of the secretory immune system by protecting the lining of mucosal sites from pathogens. In both humans and dogs, IgA deficiency (IgAD) is associated with recurrent infections of mucosal sites and immune-mediated diseases. Low concentrations of serum IgA have previously been reported to occur in a number of dog breeds but no generally accepted cut-off value has been established for canine IgAD. The current study represents the largest screening to date of IgA in dogs in terms of both number of dogs (n = 1267) and number of breeds studied (n = 22). Serum IgA concentrations were quantified by using capture ELISA and were found to vary widely between breeds. We also found IgA to be positively correlated with age (p < 0.0001). Apart from the two breeds previously reported as predisposed to low IgA (Shar-Pei and German shepherd), we identified six additional breeds in which > 10% of all tested dogs had very low (<0.07 g/l) IgA concentrations (Hovawart, Norwegian elkhound, Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever, Bullterrier, Golden retriever and Labrador retriever). In addition, we discovered low IgA concentrations to be significantly associated with canine atopic dermatitis (CAD, p < 0.0001) and pancreatic acinar atrophy (PAA, p = 0.04) in German shepherds. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency; Immunodeficiency; Dog; German shepherd

Published in

Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
2014, Volume: 160, number: 3-4, pages: 255-259