Objective—To evaluate epidemiologic features of
rabies virus variants in dogs and cats in the United
States during 1999 and assess the role of bat-associated
Sample Population—Rabies viruses from 78 dogs
and 230 cats.
Procedure—Brain specimens from rabid dogs and
cats were submitted for typing of rabies virus.
Historical information, including ownership and vaccination
status, was obtained for each animal.
Specimens were typed by use of indirect fluorescent
antibody assay or reverse transcriptase polymerase
chain reaction assay and nucleotide sequence analysis.
Results—Nearly all animals were infected with the
predicted terrestrial rabies virus variant associated
with the geographic location of the submission. A batassociated
variant of rabies virus was found in a single
cat from Maryland. More than half (53%) of submitted
animals were classified as owned animals, and
most had no known history of vaccination. One vaccination
failure was reported in a dog that did not
receive a booster dose of rabies vaccine after exposure
to a possibly rabid animal.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bat-associated
rabies virus variants were not a common cause of
rabies in dogs and cats during 1999. Vaccine failures
were uncommon during the study period. Because
most rabid dogs and cats were unvaccinated and
were owned animals rather than strays, educational
campaigns targeting owners may be useful. (J Am Vet
Med Assoc 2001;218:1939–1942)
Objective—To assess the knowledge and use of infection control practices (ICPs) among US veterinarians.
Design—Anonymous mail-out population survey.
Procedures—In 2005 a questionnaire was mailed to US small animal, large animal, and equine veterinarians who were randomly selected from the AVMA membership to assess precaution awareness (PA) and veterinarians' perceptions of zoonotic disease risks. Respondents were assigned a PA score (0 to 4) on the basis of their responses (higher scores representing higher stringency of ICPs); within a practice type, respondents' scores were categorized as being within the upper 25% or lower 75% of scores (high and low PA ranking, respectively). Characteristics associated with low PA rankings were assessed.
Results—Generally, respondents did not engage in protective behaviors or use personal protective equipment considered appropriate to protect against zoonotic disease transmission. Small animal and equine veterinarians employed in practices that had no written infection control policy were significantly more likely to have low PA ranking. Male gender was associated with low PA ranking among small animal and large animal veterinarians; equine practitioners not working in a teaching or referral hospital were more likely to have low PA ranking than equine practitioners working in such institutions.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that most US veterinarians are not aware of appropriate personal protective equipment use and do not engage in practices that may help reduce zoonotic disease transmission. Gender differences may influence personal choices for ICPs. Provision of information and training on ICPs and establishment of written infection control policies could be effective means of improving ICPs in veterinary practices.
Objective—To identify risk factors associated with the spread of low pathogenicity H7N2 avian influenza (AI) virus among commercial poultry farms in western Virginia during an outbreak in 2002.
Procedure—Questionnaires were used to collect information about farm characteristics, biosecurity measures, and husbandry practices on 151 infected premises (128 turkey and 23 chicken farms) and 199 noninfected premises (167 turkey and 32 chicken farms).
Results—The most significant risk factor for AI infection was disposal of dead birds by rendering (odds ratio [OR], 7.3). In addition, age ≥ 10 weeks (OR for birds aged 10 to 19 weeks, 4.9; OR for birds aged ≥ 20 weeks, 4.3) was a significant risk factor regardless of poultry species involved. Other significant risk factors included use of nonfamily caretakers and the presence of mammalian wildlife on the farm. Factors that were not significantly associated with infection included use of various routine biosecurity measures, food and litter sources, types of domestic animals on the premises, and presence of wild birds on the premises.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that an important factor contributing to rapid early spread of AI virus infection among commercial poultry farms during this outbreak was disposal of dead birds via rendering off-farm. Because of the highly infectious nature of AI virus and the devastating economic impact of outbreaks, poultry farmers should consider carcass disposal techniques that do not require offfarm movement, such as burial, composting, or incineration. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:767–772)