Serology is of limited value in CPV-2 infection as a significant rise in antibody titre during the course of clinical disease may not occur. CPV-2-infected dogs may already have developed high antibody titres by 7 days after inoculation and prior to onset of clinical signs. Furthermore, the development of CPV-2 disease often occurs around the same time as vaccination, so even rises in antibody titre can be difficult to interpret. However, estimation of IgM titres to CPV-2 may be useful for demonstrating some acute infections.
Serology may be of more use for the retrospective diagnosis of CCV infection, particularly in non-vaccinated populations. Virus neutralising (VN) antibodies to CCV first appear7 days after inoculation and continue to rise over subsequent weeks. A serum sample should be obtained at the onset of clinical signs and again 2 weeks later. VN antibodies may also be epidemiologically useful as they can be used to to differentiate different strains of CCV.
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