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In veterinary medicine, there is increasing interest in measuring C-reactive protein (CRP) as a tool for diagnosis and monitoring of inflammatory diseases. Reported CRP concentrations for healthy dogs have ranged from 0 to 8.9 mg/L.
The aims of this study were to evaluate a canine-specific point-of-care (POC) lateral flow immunoassay for qualitative CRP measurement in healthy and diseased dogs and to compare results with those obtained by a quantitative ELISA.
Blood samples from 73 client-owned dogs were available for testing: 16 healthy dogs and 57 dogs with a variety of infectious, inflammatory, or neoplastic diseases. CRP was measured in heparinized whole blood samples and serum with the TECO medical Dog CRP-visual POC test. A red line develops in the POC device if CRP is ≥ 5 mg/L, and results are scored as negative or positive. An ELISA validated previously for canine serum was used as the reference method. Results: For all dogs, serum CRP concentrations measured by the ELISA ranged from 0.1 to ≥ 350 mg/L (median = 38 mg/L). Percentages of the CRP POC test results that agreed with the ELISA results were 98.6% for whole blood and 97.3% for serum samples. For serum samples, sensitivity of the POC test was 96.4% and specificity was 81.3%. For whole blood, sensitivity was 94.7% and specificity was 93.8%.
The POC test had very good agreement with the ELISA test and had high sensitivity and specificity; therefore, it can be used as a qualitative test to screen for increases in CRP concentrations.