Canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV2) has become an attractive vector for gene therapy because of its non-pathogenicity and the lack of pre-existing neutralizing antibodies against this virus in the human population. Additionally, this vector has been proposed as a conditionally replicative adenovirus agent under the control of an osteocalcin promoter for evaluation in a syngeneic, immunocompetent canine model with spontaneous osteosarcoma. In this study, a CAV2 vector labelled with the fluorescent capsid fusion protein IX-enhanced green fluorescent protein (pIX-EGFP) was developed. Expression of the fluorescent fusion-protein label in infected cells with proper nuclear localization, and incorporation into virions, could be detected. The labelled virions could be visualized by fluorescence microscopy; this was applicable to the tracking of CAV2 infection, as well as localizing the distribution of the vector in tissues. Expression of pIX-EGFP could be exploited to detect the replication and spread of CAV2. These results indicate that pIX can serve as a platform for incorporation of heterologous proteins in the context of a canine adenovirus xenotype. It is believed that capsid-labelled CAV2 has utility for vector-development studies and for monitoring CAV2-based oncolytic adenovirus replication. © 2005 SGM.