Canine distemper virus (CDV) antigen was detected in the serum of dogs by an ELISA and the results of this assay were compared with an anti-CDV immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody test. In paired sera from 26 naturally infected dogs, the antigen-positive rate was 26.9 per cent at the first examination and 11.5 per cent at the second examination two to three weeks later. The antigen was detected in three of the 10 dogs which were negative for anti-CDV IgM antibody at the first examination. It could also be detected in the serum of between eight and two of 40 specific pathogen-free dogs vaccinated against CDV, for up to four weeks after they were vaccinated.
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