The importance of antibody testing by Laurie Larson

The importance of antibody testing by Laurie Larson
The importance of antibody testing by Laurie Larson

A point-of-care blot ELISA assay for detection of protective antibody against canine adenovirus, canine parvovirus, and canine distemper virus is diagnostically accurate

Laurie Larson, DVM

The importance of antibody testing by Laurie Larson

General Introduction:

Canine adenovirus (CAV), canine parvovirus (CPV), and canine distemper Virus (CDV) are recognized as important causes of illness and death in dogs. Puppies are most susceptible to CAV, CPV and CDV, especially after weaning when protective maternally derived antibody (MDA) levels decrease. In many countries, vaccination programs have significantly curtailed, but not eliminated the incidence of these diseases.



Antibody testing as a method to determine the potential benefit of administration of core canine viral vaccines is rapidly becoming a standard practice in veterinary medicine. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association includes antibody testing as part of their vaccine guidelines.


To determine the diagnostic accuracy of a point-of-care antibody-screening test (VacciCheck) by determining sensitivity, specificity, and overall accuracy when compared to reference standard tests for antibodies against core vaccine viruses canine adenovirus (CAV), canine parvovirus (CPV), and canine distemper virus (CDV).


A total of 563 canine sera samples that included healthy pet dogs with known core vaccination history (431), and unvaccinated dogs (132) were used in the study. All sera were tested using the point-of-care antibody-screening test VacciCheck as well as the reference standard test; neutralization assays for CDV and CAV (563 samples), and hemagglutination assay for CPV (183 samples).

Results reading:

The results, for the point-of-care antibody-screening test (VacciCheck), were read by technicians who had no knowledge of the results of reference standard tests or any clinical details regarding individual dogs. Reference standard tests were also read independently of clinical details. For this study, a titer of 1:8 or above (CAV and CDV) and a titer of 1:40 or above (CPV) were considered protective. For the point-of-care antibody-screening test (VacciCheck), a threshold for S2 had been set by the manufacturer as the semiquantitative threshold for protection for all 3 antigens. 


The point-of-care dot blot ELISA test (VacciCheck) correlates well with reference standard tests and is a reliable, rapid screening test for the detection of protective vaccinal antibody against CAV, CDV, and CPV in healthy dogs over 20 weeks of age. 

An accurate assessment of immunity allows clinicians to administer core vaccines appropriately as needed, avoiding the unnecessary risk of adverse vaccine events. 

Read more about VacciCheck Canine

Check out our CPV tips