Effectiveness of rapid diagnostic tests to assess pathogens of fishers (Martes pennanti) and gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)

Mourad W. Gabriel, Greta M. Wengert, Sean M. Matthews, J. Mark Higley, Janet E Foley, Amanda Blades, Mike Sullivan, Richard N. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Wildlife managers often need to assess the current health status of wildlife communities before implementation of management actions involving surveillance, reintroductions, or translocations. We estimated the sensitivity and specificity of a commercially available domestic canine rapid diagnostic antigen test for canine parvovirus and a rapid enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection of antibodies toward Anaplasma phagocytophilum on populations of fishers (Martes pennanti) and sympatric gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus). Eighty-two fecal samples from 66 fishers and 16 gray foxes were tested with both SNAP®PARVO rapid diagnostic test (RDT) and a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Whole blood samples from 23 fishers and 53 gray foxes were tested with both SNAP 4Dx® RDT and immunofluorescence assays (IFAs). The SNAP PARVO RDT detected no parvovirus, whereas PCR detected the virus in 17 samples. Eleven samples were positive using the SNAP 4Dx RDT, whereas 46 samples tested by IFA were positive for A. phagocytophilum. Both RDTs had low sensitivity and poor test agreement. These findings clearly demonstrate the importance of validating RDTs developed for domesticated animals before using them for wildlife populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)966-970
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Wildlife Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum
  • Fisher
  • Gray fox
  • Parvovirus
  • Test validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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