The potential role of oral vaccination of dogs against rabies in the Philippines was investigated in terms of safety and efficacy.
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.
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.
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.