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Comparison of two assays for detection of antibodies against canine parvovirus and canine distemper virus in dogs admitted to a Florida animal shelter

Lauren K. GrayMaddie's Shelter Medicine Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

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P. Cynda CrawfordMaddie's Shelter Medicine Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

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Julie K. LevyMaddie's Shelter Medicine Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.

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Edward J. DuboviAnimal Health Diagnostic Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14852.

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Abstract

Objective—To compare 2 assays for use in the identification of dogs with a protective antibody titer (PAT) against canine parvovirus (CPV) and canine distemper virus (CDV).

Design—Prospective cross-sectional study.

Animals—431 dogs admitted to a municipal animal shelter in north central Florida.

Procedures—Blood samples were collected from dogs on the day of admission to the shelter. Serum was obtained, criterion-referenced assays were used to identify dogs that had PATs against CPV (titers ≥ 80; hemagglutination inhibition assay) and CDV (titers ≥ 32; virus neutralization assay), and results were compared with results of a semiquantitative ELISA and an immunofluorescence assay (IFA).

Results—For correct identification of dogs that had PATs against viruses, the ELISA had significantly higher specificity for CPV (98%) and CDV (95%) than did the IFA (82% and 70%, respectively) and had significantly lower sensitivity for CDV (88%) than did the IFA (97%); the sensitivity for CPV was similar (ELISA, 98%; IFA, 97%). Overall diagnostic accuracy was significantly greater with the ELISA than with the IFA. Predictive value of a positive result for PATs was significantly higher with the ELISA for CPV (99%) and CDV (93%) than with the IFA (92% and 71 %, respectively).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The ELISA had fewer false-positive results than did the IFA and could be performed on-site in shelters in < 1 hour. Accuracy and practicality of the ELISA may be useful for identifying the infection risk of dogs exposed during outbreaks attributable to CPV and CDV infections in shelters.

Abstract

Objective—To compare 2 assays for use in the identification of dogs with a protective antibody titer (PAT) against canine parvovirus (CPV) and canine distemper virus (CDV).

Design—Prospective cross-sectional study.

Animals—431 dogs admitted to a municipal animal shelter in north central Florida.

Procedures—Blood samples were collected from dogs on the day of admission to the shelter. Serum was obtained, criterion-referenced assays were used to identify dogs that had PATs against CPV (titers ≥ 80; hemagglutination inhibition assay) and CDV (titers ≥ 32; virus neutralization assay), and results were compared with results of a semiquantitative ELISA and an immunofluorescence assay (IFA).

Results—For correct identification of dogs that had PATs against viruses, the ELISA had significantly higher specificity for CPV (98%) and CDV (95%) than did the IFA (82% and 70%, respectively) and had significantly lower sensitivity for CDV (88%) than did the IFA (97%); the sensitivity for CPV was similar (ELISA, 98%; IFA, 97%). Overall diagnostic accuracy was significantly greater with the ELISA than with the IFA. Predictive value of a positive result for PATs was significantly higher with the ELISA for CPV (99%) and CDV (93%) than with the IFA (92% and 71 %, respectively).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The ELISA had fewer false-positive results than did the IFA and could be performed on-site in shelters in < 1 hour. Accuracy and practicality of the ELISA may be useful for identifying the infection risk of dogs exposed during outbreaks attributable to CPV and CDV infections in shelters.

Contributor Notes

Supported by grants from Maddie's Fund and Morris Animal Foundation.

Address correspondence to Dr. Crawford (crawfordc@ufl.edu).