Title:Measurement of IgG levels in healthy and autoimmune diseased animals
van de Munt-Benyus, Andrea
As veterinary science advances the diagnosis of autoimmune diseases is gaining more and more attention. Due to the severity and importance of these diseases the diagnostic methods are constantly developing, though in our field the diagnostic techniques are still behind the ones used in human medicine. This has many reasons, among these probably the most important is that the number of studies focusing on animals are much lower than studies focusing on human patients. However, the similarity in the pathogenesis of autoimmune processes is often obvious, and in many cases animal models are used to study autoimmunity even in human aspect. Dogs can spontaneously acquire autoimmune conditions which show similarities to human autoimmune diseases. The key feature of these processes is that there is a certain level of autoantibodies that are directed at self-antigens that is pathologic. Essentially this means the break-down of self-tolerance. Although autoantibodies are not always pathogenic, but their levels give an indication of the severity of auto-immune processes present in the body.