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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe rabies and rabies-related events occurring during 2015 in the United States.

DESIGN

Observational study based on passive surveillance data.

ANIMALS

All animals submitted for rabies testing in the United States during 2015.

PROCEDURES

State and territorial public health programs provided data on animals submitted for rabies testing in 2015. Data were analyzed temporally and geographically to assess trends in domestic and sylvatic animal rabies cases.

RESULTS

During 2015, 50 states and Puerto Rico reported 5,508 rabid animals to the CDC, representing an 8.7% decrease from the 6,033 rabid animals reported in 2014. Of the 5,508 cases of animal rabies, 5,088 (92.4%) involved wildlife. Relative contributions by the major animal groups were as follows: 1,704 (30.9%) bats, 1,619 (29.4%) raccoons, 1,365 (24.8%) skunks, 325 (5.9%) foxes, 244 (4.4%) cats, 85 (1.5%) cattle, and 67 (1.2%) dogs. There was a 4.1% decrease in the number of samples submitted for testing in 2015, compared with the number submitted in 2014. Three human rabies deaths were reported in 2015, compared with only 1 in 2014. A 65-year-old man in Massachusetts was bitten by a rabid dog while abroad. A 77-year-old woman in Wyoming had contact with a bat. A 54-year-old man in Puerto Rico was bitten by a mongoose. The only connection among these 3 cases was that none received postexposure prophylaxis.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Laboratory testing of animals suspected to be rabid remains a critical public health function and continues to be a cost-effective method to directly influence human rabies postexposure prophylaxis recommendations. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2017;250:1117–1130)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To assess the immunogenicity of thermostable live-attenuated rabies virus (RABV) preserved by vaporization (PBV) and delivered to the duodenal mucosa of a wildlife species targeted for an oral vaccination program.

ANIMALS 8 gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus).

PROCEDURES Endoscopy was used to place RABV PBV (n = 3 foxes), alginate-encapsulated RABV PBV (3 foxes), or nonpreserved RABV (2 foxes) vaccine into the duodenum of foxes. Blood samples were collected weekly to monitor the immune response. Saliva samples were collected weekly and tested for virus shedding by use of a conventional reverse-transcriptase PCR assay. Foxes were euthanized 28 days after vaccine administration, and relevant tissues were collected and tested for presence of RABV.

RESULTS 2 of 3 foxes that received RABV PBV and 1 of 2 foxes that received nonpreserved RABV seroconverted by day 28. None of the 3 foxes receiving alginate-encapsulated RABV PBV seroconverted. No RABV RNA was detected in saliva at any of the time points, and RABV antigen or RNA was not detected in any of the tissues obtained on day 28. None of the foxes displayed any clinical signs of rabies.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results for this study indicated that a live-attenuated RABV vaccine delivered to the duodenal mucosa can induce an immune response in gray foxes. A safe, potent, thermostable RABV vaccine that could be delivered orally to wildlife or domestic animals would enhance current rabies control and prevention efforts.

Restricted access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

The present report provides a detailed update on rabies epidemiology and events in the United States during 2014 as well as a brief summary of rabies events in 2015. Updates are also provided for Canada and Mexico.

Rabies is caused by neurotrophic viruses of the genus Lyssavirus. It is almost always fatal once clinical signs develop, but is preventable if appropriate postexposure prophylaxis is administered in a timely manner. The primary route of transmission is through the bite of an infected mammal, but rabies may also be transmitted when fresh saliva from an infected animal comes into contact

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association