Blood samples are often collected from free-ranging wildlife for antibody detection. However, filter-paper (FP) strips are more cost efficient and easy to collect and store. We evaluated trapper-collected FP strips and body-cavity blood for canine distemper (CDV) and parvovirus (CPV-2) antibody detection in raccoons (Procyon lotor) and coyotes (Canis latrans). From 2008 to 2010, licensed trappers near Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US collected paired samples from harvested animals. Canine distemper antibodies were detected using virus neutralization and parvovirus antibodies were detected using hemagglutination inhibition. Titers ≥1:32 for CDV and ≥1:25 for CPV-2 were considered evidence of exposure. Using Cohen's kappa test of agreement, FP strip titers agreed with sera for CDV in coyotes (n = 28, K = 0.772) and raccoons (n = 29, K = 0.858) and for CPV-2 in coyotes (n = 40, K = 0.775) and raccoons (n = 70, K = 0.646). However, raccoons determined to be exposed to CPV-2 from sera were unexposed by FP strips in 35% of the samples. Titer results may be affected by quality and volume of blood samples, interval between collection and processing, small sample sizes, and diagnostic testing procedures. Filter-paper strips can be useful for detecting CDV and CPV-2 exposure in coyotes and raccoons with correct field sample collection and appropriate diagnostic testing procedures.
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Vol. 51 • No. 3