Protective immune response of oral rabies vaccine in stray dogs, corsacs and steppe wolves after a single immunization
In this study the safety and protective immunity of an oral rabies vaccine, based on the live, modified rabies virus strain VRC-RZ2, was examined in stray dogs (Canis Sp.), corsacs (Vulpes corsac) and steppe wolves (Canis lupus campestris). In the safety group (dogs, n=6; corsacs, n=3; wolves, n=3) which was vaccinated with a 10-times field dose/animal, no animals showed any signs of disease or changes in behavior or appetite during the period of clinical observation, similar to the animals in the negative control group. Saliva samples taken from animals prior and post (5th and 10th days) vaccination failed to demonstrate rabies virus antigen. Observations of immunogenicity in vaccinated carnivores (dogs, corsacs and wolves) during a 180 day period showed the titers of virus neutralizing antibodies (VNA) in the blood sera of vaccinated dogs to be within 0.59-1.37 IU/mL. On 14 days post vaccination (dpv), all the wild carnivores had detectable levels of neutralizing antibodies, with mean titers ranging from 0.50 ± 0.07 IU/mL (for wolves) to 0.59 ± 0.10 IU/mL (for corsacs). Weeks after vaccination, all the vaccinated wolves and corsacs had higher levels of neutralizing antibodies: 0.70 ± 0.10 – 0.71 ± 0.08 IU/mL at 30 dpv, 1.06 ± 0.08 – 1.28 ± 0.21 IU/mL at 60 dpv and 0.41 ± 0.09 – 047 ± 0.06 at 180 dpv. The highest level of VNA (˃1.0 IU/ml) was detected at 60 dpv, in all vaccinated animals. After challenge all vaccinated dogs remained healthy for 180 days. Control animals (unvaccinated dogs) developed symptoms of rabies on day 6 post administration of a virulent virus and died of rabies on days 11-13. Of note, the VNA titers in all the wild carnivores (corsacs and wolves) immunized with VRC-RZ2 were higher than 0.5 IU/ml (0.59 ± 0.11 IU/ml), even as early as 14 days post vaccination. These, presumably protective, titers of antibodies to rabies virus were present in the dogs and wild carnivores examined in this study for at least 180 days.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00705-017-3499-6
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