Serology testing for the diagnosis of sarcoptic mange in dogs now available at BattLab

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Scabies is a transmissible infestation of the skin caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei, and presents with intense, non-seasonal pruritus, that is more pronounced in hairless areas, typically ears and elbows. Clinical diagnosis may be complicated due to overlapping clinical signs; differentials may include hypersensitivity to fleas, food and environmental allergens, pyoderma, demodicosis, dermatophytosis, Malassezia dermatitis (as discussed in the following article) and contact dermatitis.

Diagnosis can be achieved by cytological examination of skin scrapings, however, false negative results are often seen. According to Lower et colleagues, mites are seen in only 20-50% of infected dogs. Serology testing (ELISA) is now available at BattLab, and can assist you in the diagnosis of this disease. This test aims to measure serum IgG antibodies against Sarcoptes spp. and has been reported as having a sensitivity of 84%% and specificity of 90% (Lower et at, 2001). A false negative may occur in the first weeks of infestation, as dogs seroconvert 3 to 5 weeks after infestation. Similarly, young animals receiving corticosteroids at the time of the sample being taken may have a higher false-negative rate. If you require any further information about this test do not hesitate to contact us.