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1.  Immunogenicity Studies in Carnivores Using a Rabies Virus Construct with a Site-Directed Deletion in the Phosphoprotein 
Different approaches have been applied to develop highly attenuated rabies virus vaccines for oral vaccination of mesocarnivores. One prototype vaccine construct is SAD dIND1, which contains a deletion in the P-gene severely limiting the inhibition of type-1 interferon induction. Immunogenicity studies in foxes and skunks were undertaken to investigate whether this highly attenuated vaccine would be more immunogenic than the parental SAD B19 vaccine strain. In foxes, it was demonstrated that SAD dIND1 protected the animals against a rabies infection after a single oral dose, although virus neutralizing antibody titres were lower than in foxes orally vaccinated with the SAD B19 virus as observed in previous experiments. In contrast, skunks receiving 107.5 FFU SAD dIND1 did not develop virus neutralizing antibodies and were not protected against a subsequent rabies infection.
doi:10.4061/2011/898171
PMCID: PMC3177460  PMID: 21991446
2.  Rabies in Foxes, Aegean Region, Turkey 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2009;15(10):1620-1622.
At the end of the 1990s in the Aegean region of Turkey, rabies rapidly spread among foxes. This spread likely resulted from spillover infection from dogs and led to increased rabies cases among cattle. To control this outbreak, oral rabies vaccination of foxes has been used.
doi:10.3201/eid1510.090203
PMCID: PMC2866395  PMID: 19861056
Rabies; dog; fox; spillover; Turkey; viruses; dispatch
3.  Kinetics of maternal immunity against rabies in fox cubs (Vulpes vulpes) 
Background
In previous experiments, it was demonstrated that maternal antibodies (maAb) against rabies in foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were transferred from the vixen to her offspring. However, data was lacking from cubs during the first three weeks post partum. Therefore, this complementary study was initiated.
Methods
Blood samples (n = 281) were collected from 64 cubs (3 to 43 days old) whelped by 19 rabies-immune captive-bred vixens. Sera was collected up to six times from each cub. The samples were analysed by a fluorescence focus inhibition technique (RFFIT), and antibody titres (nAb) were expressed in IU/ml. The obtained data was pooled with previous data sets. Subsequently, a total of 499 serum samples from 249 cubs whelped by 54 rabies-immune vixens were fitted to a non-linear regression model.
Results
The disappearance rate of maAb was independent of the vixens' nAb-titre. The maAb-titre of the cubs decreased exponentially with age and the half-life of the maAb was estimated to be 9.34 days. However, maAb of offspring whelped by vixens with high nAb-titres can be detected for longer by RFFIT than that of offspring whelped by vixens with relatively low nAb-titres. At a mean critical age of about 23 days post partum, maAb could no longer be distinguished from unspecific reactions in RFFIT depending on the amount of maAb transferred by the mother.
Conclusions
The amount of maAb cubs receive is directly proportional to the titre of the vixen and decreases exponentially with age below detectable levels in seroneutralisation tests at a relatively early age.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-2-10
PMCID: PMC116597  PMID: 12069694
4.  Field trial with oral vaccination of dogs against rabies in the Philippines 
Background
The potential role of oral vaccination of dogs against rabies in the Philippines was investigated in terms of safety and efficacy.
Methods
Prior to the vaccination campaign, a house-to-house survey was carried out to collect data on the dog population in the study area, the coastal village of Mindoro. During the vaccination campaign all households were visited again, and all dogs encountered (>2 months old) were, if possible, vaccinated. Furthermore, 14 dogs vaccinated were bled on different occasions.
Results
During the survey, a total of 216 dogs were counted, and none of these animals had previously been vaccinated against rabies. Only 17 dogs could be restrained and subsequently vaccinated directly by the vaccinators. Another 126 dogs were offered a local-made boiled intestine bait, containing a capsule filled with 3.0 ml SAD B19 (107.9 FFU/ml). The bait acceptance rate of dogs offered a bait was 96.1%. The vaccination coverage of the dog population (> 2 months old) estimated by the number of animals vaccinated directly and the number of dogs that accepted a bait and subsequently punctured the vaccine container was 76%. Fifteen and 29 days after the vaccination campaign 6 and 10 dogs (n = 14) had rabies virus neutralizing antibody titres of ≥ 0.5 IU/ml, respectively. No unintentional contacts of nontarget species, including humans, with the vaccine virus were reported.
Conclusions
The results of the campaign show that oral vaccination of dogs against rabies is a promising supplementary method in dog rabies control in the Philippines.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-1-23
PMCID: PMC60992  PMID: 11737869

Results 1-4 (4)