The associations between the levels of canine distemper virus neutralising antibodies and vaccination history, age and gender were investigated in a cross-sectional study of a sample of 4627 dogs from the Finnish urban dog population. Dogs vaccinated with either Canlan (Langford Laboratories) or Dohyvac (Solvay Animal Health) or with both, had significantly lower titres than those vaccinated with Candur (Behringwerke), Duramune (Fort Dodge Laboratories) or Nobivac (Intervet), or with combinations including at least one of these. The vaccines were classified as having low and high immunogenicity on the basis of the geometric mean titre achieved by the vaccine when compared with the geometric mean titre of the entire dataset. The low geometric mean titre of Canlan, Dohyvac and their combination groups resulted from the large proportion of dogs without detectable titres, especially dogs under one year of age, rather than from uniformly low titres. An age-stratified comparison of vaccine usage and titres showed that the division of the vaccines into low and high immunogenicity vaccines was apparent in the dogs less than two years of age but not in the older dogs. The first vaccination with the high immunogenicity vaccines resulted in a higher proportion of dogs with detectable antibodies than even repeated vaccination with the low immunogenicity vaccines. Neither the time elapsed since the most recent vaccination nor the gender of the dogs was associated with the titre of antibody.
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