An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed for the detection of Echinococcus coproantigens in fecal samples from dogs, dingoes or foxes infected with either E. granulosus or E. multilocularis. The ELISA was based on protein-A-purified polyclonal antibodies [anti-E. granulosus excretory/secretory (E/S) antigens]. The specificity of the assay as determined in 155 samples derived from carnivores that were free of helminth infection (n=37) or infected with non-Echinococcus cestodes (n=76) or with various nematodes (n=42) was found to be 98% overall. The diagnostic sensitivity was strongly dependent on the homologous worm burden. All 13 samples from foxes harboring >1,000 E. multilocularis worms and 13 of 15 (87%) samples from dogs or dingoes containing >200 E. granulosus worms were ELISA-positive, whereas 34 of 46 samples from foxes harboring <1,000 E. multilocularis and 9 of 10 samples from dogs or dingoes bearing <200 E. granulosus tested negative. Experimental prepatent infections of dogs with E. granulosus revealed positive ELISA reactions within the prepatent period (10-20 days post-infection) for six animals bearing >1,000 E. granulosus each; a low worm burden (<1,000 tapeworms/animal) resulted in ELISA positivity in only 2 of 3 animals at 30 days post-infection at the earliest. All five dogs that had been experimentally infected with E. multilocularis tested positive in the coproantigen ELISA as early as on day 5 post-infection.