Detecting and Monitoring Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dog (Stool-Immune Test)

At a Glance

This Stool Immune diagnostic test uses flow cytometry to quantitate the amount of IgG bound to commensal bacteria in stool specimens from dogs to provide a non-invasive diagnosis of IBD.  Currently, there are no diagnostic tests available to unequivocally diagnose IBD in dogs, other than expensive endoscopic procedure.  The Stool Immune test has demonstrated high sensitivity and high specificity for diagnosing IBD in dogs, with potential to expand to other animals, including humans.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a common disease in dogs with a variety of proposed causes, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Diagnosis of IBD typically requires a combination of laboratory testing and an endoscopic biopsy procedure, which is expensive and requires general anesthesia. Indirect examination methods, including blood work and radiographs, lack sensitivity and specificity to reliably diagnose the disease. Therefore, novel diagnostic methods are needed to rapidly and correctly diagnose IBD.


Researchers in the Center for Immune and Regenerative Medicine at Colorado State University have discovered that dogs with IBD develop an immune response against their own gut bacteria, producing high levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) bound to the surface of gut bacteria, which in turn triggers intestinal inflammation.  Based on this new understanding of the pathogenesis of IBD in dogs, the group has developed a novel diagnostic test (Stool-Immune) for IBD that is rapid, sensitive, and non-invasive.  The test uses flow cytometry to detect and quantitate the amount of IgG bound to gut bacteria, using small stool samples.  The level of IgG binding can be used with high accuracy to distinguish dogs with IBD (high IgG binding) from dogs with healthy GI tracts (low IgG binding).


  • Use of small stool samples to rapidly diagnose IBD
  • Non-invasive testing, avoids need for endoscopic biopsies
  • Greater sensitivity and specificity than any indirect tests on market currently
  • Potential application in other animal species, including humans
Last Updated: August 2022

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Sirikul Soontararak

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