Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis (CVL) is a widespread zoonotic disease with mandatory euthanasia of infected dogs determined by the Brazilian Ministry of Health. Development of vaccines against CVL may provide a prophylactic barrier, but transitory peak of antibody response detected by standard diagnostic techniques in vaccinated dogs may be interpreted as natural infection. Accordingly, the aim of the present study was to sequentially evaluate total and IgG subclasses response between naturally Leishmania-infected and dogs vaccinated with Leishmune (R). A total of 172 mongrel dogs were divided in four groups: Group 1 (Cl) with 45 clinically healthy dogs. Group 2 (G2) and Group 3 (G3) with 45 dogs naturally infected by Leishmania sp. each, symptomatic and asymptomatic respectively, and G4 (G4) with 37 healthy dogs submitted to a complete protocol of a commercially available vaccine against CVL, monitored and evaluated in 5 different chronological moments (M0-M4) up to 180 days after M0. Total IgG, IgG1 and IgG2 were unable to differentiate between infected (G2 and G3) and vaccinated (G4) dogs, demonstrating that polyclonal commercial antibodies do not distinguish these groups apart. Total and IgG subclasses antibodies were not detected until 21 days of the second vaccination dose; however, seroconversion was observed on 21 days and sustained positivity up to 6 months after the vaccination start. A peak of antibodies response was observed on 90 days (M3), when results for total IgG, IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4 where highly significant when compared to M0 (P < 0.0001). Neither total IgG nor IgG1 effectively differentiated between infected (G2 and G3) and vaccinated (G4) dogs. In conclusion, despite dogs may test serologically negative immediately after vaccination against CVL with Leishmune (R), subsequent seroconversion, antibody peak and positivity up to six months may lead vaccinated dogs to be mistakenly identified as naturally infected dogs during this period. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.