Canine distemper virus (CDV) is a serious disease of wild carnivores throughout the world. In Europe, infection has been detected in several carnivores including the Eurasian badger (Meles meles). In the present study 182 badger blood samples were collected from an intensively studied population of wild badgers in southwestern England (January–July, 1997), and a further 286 from throughout southern Britain (June 1996–November 1998). A neutralizing peroxidase-linked antibody test was used for the detection of antibodies against CDV. All the samples were negative for CDV antibodies, suggesting that in contrast to mainland Europe, the disease may be either absent or maintained at low levels in British badgers.
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Vol. 36 • No. 3