We have recently developed a sensitive and specific immunodiagnostic test for canine Dirofilaria immitis infection based on detection of soluble parasite antigens in dog sera by monoclonal antibody-based enzyme immunoassay. In addition to their importance as markers of infection, these antigens may contribute to the pathogenesis of heartworm disease in dogs. In the present study, a variety of methods were used to identify and characterize circulating D. immitis antigens. Two antigens were identified in infected dog sera that formed lines of identity in rocket-line immunoelectrophoresis with soluble antigens extracted from adult D. immitis. Circulating D. immitis antigens were also demonstrated in infected dog sera by immunoblot analysis with polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. These antigens had apparent molecular weights that ranged from 50 to 250 kDa. Most of the circulating D. immitis antigens contained the epitope defined by monoclonal antibody 1418BF2.1 which is used in our enzyme immunoassay for circulating D. immitis antigen. Studies of parasite antigens released during in vitro culture indicated that the circulating D. immitis antigens in dog sera that are detected by our enzyme immunoassay are primarily derived from adult female worms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-251
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1987


  • Antigen
  • Dirofilaria immitis
  • Dog
  • Filarioidea
  • Nematode


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