A survey was carried out in two goat herds during a single peste des petits ruminant (PPR) outbreak. Clinical examination showed that animals belonging to the West African Dwarf species had severe symptoms while those belonging to the West African long-legged species had mild symptoms. To confirm and to monitor the disease in each species, the study required specific monoclonal antibody-based diagnostic tools. An association of shedding of PPR virus (PPRV) and acute or mild clinical signs of the disease could be demonstrated by the rinderpest virus (RPV)/PPRV immunocapture ELISA assay. Between 85 and 100% of nasal secretions obtained from clinically diseased goats during the PPR outbreak reacted positively. Parallel serological surveillance for specific measurement of PPR antibodies revealed that between 34·4 and 88·5% of animals with no detectable virus were, however, able to seroconvert and therefore seemed to demonstrate that PPR subclinical infections do occur. Antibodies were shown to impair the RP heterologous vaccination. This evaluation offers new prospects for diagnosis and management of PPRV infection as well as for RPV control.