Optimal Vector-borne Disease Screening in Dogs Using Both Serology-based and Polymerase Chain Reaction-based Diagnostic Panels.


Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine, 309 East Second Street, Pomona, CA 91766, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


Vector-borne disease and idiopathic immune-mediated disease present similarly. Diagnostic panels that include multiple organisms help detect infection and identify coinfections. Comprehensive diagnostic panels that combine polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and serology should be used in initial screening to maximize sensitivity and identify infection. Repeat testing using PCR is warranted in dogs at high risk of infection with organisms that circulate in blood in low numbers or intermittently. Convalescent serologic testing can help diagnose acute infection. This article discusses the pathophysiology and epidemiology of the organisms, panel selection, and how to recognize when more aggressive testing for an organism is warranted.