Objective - To determine the effect of vaccination on serum concentrations of total and antigen-specific IgE in dogs. Animals - 20 female Beagles. Procedure - Groups of 5 dogs each were vaccinated repeatedly between 8 weeks and 4 years of age with a multivalent and rabies vaccine, a multivalent vaccine only, or a rabies vaccine only. A fourth group of 5 dogs served as unvaccinated controls. Serum concentrations of total immunoglobulins and antigen-specific IgE were determined following vaccination. Results - The multivalent vaccine had little effect on serum total IgE concentrations. The concentration of IgE increased slightly following vaccination for rabies at 16 weeks and 1 year of age and increased greatly after vaccination at 2 and 3 years of age in most dogs, with a distinct variation between individual dogs. Vaccination had no effect on serum concentrations of IgA, IgG, and IgM as measured at 2 and 3 years of age. The rabies vaccine contained aluminum adjuvant in contrast to the multivalent vaccine. An increase of IgE that was reactive with vaccine antigens, including bovine serum albumin and bovine fibronectin, was detected in some of the dogs vaccinated for rabies. There was no significant correlation between serum concentrations of total IgE and antigen-specific IgE following vaccination. Serum total IgE concentration rapidly returned to preimmunization concentrations in most dogs, but high concentrations of antigen-specific IgE persisted. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Vaccination of dogs for rabies increases serum concentrations of total IgE and induces IgE specific for vaccine antigens, including tissue culture residues. Vaccination history should be considered in the interpretation of serum total IgE concentrations.
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