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The canine parvovirus (CPV) causes an acute generalised infection characterised by severe enteritis, anorexia, depression and vomitus. Especially young cubs are affected. These individuals additionally contract a non purulent myocarditis. Six families of the order carnivora are susceptible to a parvovirus-infection (felidae, canidae, procyonidae, mustelidae, ursidae, viveridae).Previously performed investigations show that CPV can be transmitted between domestic dogs and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). A difference in the seroprevalence between selected urban and silvatic areas has been postulated.Based on this information urban areas, represented by the city of Berlin and cities in NorthRhine Westphalia were compared to rural areas, represented by parts of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg.A main objective of this study was to determine whether there is a difference in the prevalence of haemagglutination inhibiting antibodies (HIT-Ab) against CPV in free-ranging carnivores between selected urban and rural study areas. A total of 1558 serum samples was investigated. The majority of the sera were obtained from red foxes (n=1503). In addition, sera from racoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonides) (n=33), stone martens (Martes foina) (n= 13), badgers Alleles meles) (n=6) and pine martens (Martes Martes) (n=2) were examined.There was no significantly higher number of seropositive reactors between selected urban cities of North Rhine-Westphalia and the silvatic study areas in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg. However, in the extreme populated city of Berlin significantly more seropositive reactors were found compared to the other three study areas. Besides sera from red foxes, serum samples of racoon dogs (2/33, titre 1:10), stone martens (4/13, titre between 1:10 and 1:40) and pine martens (1/2, titre 1:10) were seropositive. During an investigation period of three years significantly more seropositive reactors were detected in the years 1999 and 2001 compared to the year 2000. Moreover, the antibody titres were significantly higher in the year 2001 than in the two previous years. CPV specific nucleic acid could not be detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This could be explained by the fact that (1) a CPV-infection is an acute disease and (2) that CPV can only be identified in different tissues during a period of a 1-9 days.
In conclusion, no proof for a transmission of CPV between domestic dogs and investigated wild carnivores could be established.