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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether postexposure rabies prophylaxis (PEP) in domestic animals, as mandated by the state of Texas, has continued to be effective and to evaluate PEP and preexposure rabies vaccination failures from 1995 through 1999.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—830 unvaccinated domestic animals (621 dogs, 78 horses, 71 cats, and 60 cattle) that received PEP and 4 animals (3 dogs and 1 horse) that had preexposure rabies vaccination failure.

Procedure—Zoonotic incident case reports from 1995 through 1999 were reviewed for information regarding unvaccinated domestic animals that received PEP according to state protocol after exposure to a rabid animal; reports were also reviewed for information regarding preexposure rabies vaccination failures. The PEP recommendations were to immediately vaccinate the animal against rabies, isolate the animal for 90 days, and administer booster vaccinations during the third and eighth weeks of the isolation period. Rabies vaccines used in the PEP protocol were administered via the route prescribed by the USDA.

Results—From 1995 through 1999, 830 animals received PEP; 4 failures were recorded. Additionally, 4 preexposure rabies vaccination failures were recorded.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study indicate that an effective PEP protocol for unvaccinated domestic animals exposed to rabies includes immediate vaccination against rabies, a strict isolation period of 90 days, and administration of booster vaccinations during the third and eighth weeks of the isolation period. This PEP schedule has proven to be effective for control of rabies in domestic animals. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218: 522–525)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objectives

To determine the effectiveness of postexposure rabies prophylaxis (PEX) recommendations, as mandated by the state of Texas, and to investigate PEX and preexposure rabies vaccination failures.

Design

Retrospective study.

Animals

1,345 unvaccinated domestic animals that had received PEX and 6 animals that had had preexposure rabies vaccination failure.

Procedure

Zoonotic incident case report forms from 1979 through 1994 were reviewed for information about unvaccinated domestic animals that received PEX after exposure to a rabid animal, according to state protocol; the reports were also reviewed for information about preexposure rabies vaccination failures. From 1979 through 1987, the PEX protocol was to immediately vaccinate the animal against rabies, isolate it for 6 months, and administer a booster vaccination 1 month prior to release from isolation. From 1988 through 1994, the protocol was to immediately vaccinate the animal against rabies, isolate it for 90 days, and give booster vaccinations during the third and eighth weeks of the isolation period.

Results

From 1979 through 1987, 713 animals received PEX; 2 failures were recorded. From 1988 through 1994, 632 animals received PEX; 3 failures were recorded. From 1991 through 1994, 6 preexposure rabies vaccination failures were recorded.

Clinical Implications

An effective PEX schedule for domestic animals includes immediate rabies vaccination, with a minimum of 1 booster vaccination, and 90 day's strict isolation. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;208:1827-1830)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To assess data on rabies postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) in domestic animals following Texas’ protocol and to describe preexposure and postexposure vaccination failures from 2010 through 2019.

ANIMALS

1,218 unvaccinated animals that received PEP, 925 unvaccinated animals that were euthanatized instead of receiving PEP, and 3 preexposure vaccinated dogs that developed rabies.

METHODS

Zoonotic incident reports from 2010 through 2019 were reviewed for information regarding animals with no known rabies vaccination that received PEP or were euthanatized in accordance with state protocol after exposure to a laboratory-confirmed rabid animal; reports were also reviewed for any preexposure and postexposure vaccination failures. The state-required PEP protocol was to immediately vaccinate the animal against rabies, confine the animal for 90 days, and administer booster vaccines during the third and eighth weeks of the confinement period.

RESULTS

From 2010 through 2019, 1,218 exposed animals received PEP; 99.8% did not develop rabies. Three failures were recorded, all in animals < 12 weeks of age when PEP was initiated. Additionally, 925 exposed animals were euthanatized instead of receiving PEP. One true preexposure vaccination failure was recorded.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The Texas PEP protocol was used during the 10-year period. Results indicated that this protocol is a viable option for unvaccinated domestic animals exposed to rabies. Alternative protocols warrant additional consideration.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether postexposure rabies prophylaxis (PEP) in domestic animals, as mandated in Texas, has continued to be effective and to evaluate preexposure or postexposure vaccination failures from 2000 through 2009.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—1,014 unvaccinated domestic animals (769 dogs, 126 cats, 72 horses, 39 cattle, 3 sheep, 4 goats, and 1 llama) that received PEP and 12 vaccinated domestic animals (7 dogs and 5 cats) with possible failure of protection.

Procedures—Zoonotic incident reports from 2000 through 2009 were reviewed for information regarding unvaccinated domestic animals that received PEP in accordance with the state protocol after exposure to a laboratory-confirmed rabid animal; reports also were reviewed for any preexposure or postexposure vaccination failures. The state-required PEP protocol was as follows: immediately vaccinate the animal against rabies, isolate the animal for 90 days, and administer booster vaccinations during the third and eighth weeks of the isolation period.

Results—From 2000 through 2009, 1,014 animals received PEP; no failures were recorded. One preexposure vaccination failure was recorded.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The Texas PEP protocol was used during the 10-year period. Results indicated that an effective PEP protocol for unvaccinated domestic animals exposed to rabies was immediate vaccination against rabies, a strict isolation period of 90 days, and administration of booster vaccinations during the third and eighth weeks of the isolation period.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To obtain epidemiologic information on rabies in skunks in Texas.

Design—Epidemiologic study.

Sample Population—Reports of skunks that had been submitted for rabies testing in Texas from 1953 through 2007.

Procedures—Reports were reviewed to obtain information on seasonality of rabies in skunks, seasonality of human and domestic animal exposure to rabid skunks, commonly reported clinical signs of rabies in skunks, domestic animals frequently exposed to rabid skunks, common scenarios for exposure of domestic animals to rabid skunks, disposition of domestic animals exposed to rabid skunks, age and gender of humans exposed to rabid skunks, and usual routes of exposure of humans to rabid skunks.

Results—On a yearly basis, the number of rabid skunks peaked in 1961, 1979, and 2001. On a monthly basis, the number of rabid skunks peaked in March and April. Over the study period, the percentage of rabid skunks from urban areas increased and the percentage from rural areas decreased. Striped skunks were the most common species. Dogs and cats were the domestic animals most frequently exposed to rabid skunks. On average, the highest numbers of humans exposed to rabid skunks were between 36 and 50 years old. Most humans were exposed through means other than a bite. Typical behaviors of rabid skunks were entering a dog pen, appearing outside during daytime, and attacking pets.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Information on the epidemiology of rabies in skunks may be useful in planning and implementing local, state, and national rabies control and prevention campaigns.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To obtain epidemiological information on rabies in bats in Texas.

Design—Epidemiological study.

Sample—Laboratory reports of bats that had been submitted for rabies testing in Texas from 2001 through 2010.

Procedures—Laboratory reports were reviewed to obtain information on seasonality of rabies in bats; distribution, species, and rabies virus variants of rabid bats; and human and domestic animal exposures to rabid bats.

Results—The number of rabid bats during the first 5 years of the study period remained static until a > 2-fold increase in 2006; during the subsequent 4 years, the annual number of rabid bats remained at this higher level, including a peak in 2008. The highest proportions of rabid bats were seen in late summer and early fall. The Brazilian free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) was the most often affected species. Additionally, the rabies virus variant associated with the Brazilian free-tailed bat was the most prevalent. The percentage of rabid bats from urban areas was greater than that from rural areas. Dogs and cats were the domestic animals most frequently exposed to rabid bats. Most humans exposed to rabid bats did not report a known bite or scratch. The highest numbers of humans exposed to rabid bats were males between 11 to 15 years old.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Information on the epidemiology of rabies in bats and the epidemiology of exposures to rabid bats may be useful in planning and implementing local, state, and national rabies control and prevention campaigns and in encouraging rabies vaccination of domestic animals.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To determine effectiveness of large-scale distribution of an oral rabies vaccine contained in a palatable bait for halting expansion of a canine rabies epizootic in coyotes (Canis latrans).

Design

Prospective study.

Animals

98 coyotes during prevaccination surveillance and 449 coyotes and 60 other wild animals during postvaccination surveillance.

Procedure

A vaccinia recombinant oral rabies vaccine was inserted into an edible bait for coyotes that also contained tetracycline as a biomarker. Vaccine units were then distributed via aircraft, using automated distribution equipment and flight plans developed by incorporating global positioning system equipment. The target area was along the northern edge of an area that had an epizootic of canine rabies. This area was identified through previously conducted epidemiologic surveillance of rabies cases. During postvaccination surveillance, dental specimens were examined for biomarker evidence of bait acceptance, and serum samples were analyzed for rabies neutralizing antibodies.

Results

Samples from 449 coyotes were obtained during postvaccination surveillance. Seroconversion was detected in 39 of 96 (40.6%) coyotes that had evidence of tetracycline biomarker. Additionally, the number of rabies cases in the target area decreased, and expansion of the epizootic area ceased.

Clinical Implications

Mass distribution of an oral rabies vaccine in a palatable bait is an effective means to halt expansion of a rabies epizootic involving coyotes. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998; 212:498-502)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective—

To determine rate of decay of passively acquired antibodies in Standardbred foals on a farm with a high seroprevalence to equine arteritis virus (EAV) and to determine whether vertical or horizontal transmission of the virus was responsible for infection on the farm.

Design—

Repeated-measures study.

Animals—

46 Standardbred horses (15 brood mares and their foals, 5 stallions, and 11 young horses).

Procedure—

Serum samples obtained from horses on the farm were evaluated by serum neutralization and western immunoblot analysis to detect EAV-specific antibodies. The half-life of passively acquired antibodies in foals was estimated by use of regression analysis.

Results—

Most (14/15) of the mares evaluated were seropositive to EAV. After suckling, their foals were also seropositive. Mean biological half-life for passively acquired antibodies in serum samples obtained from foals was 32 days (r 2 = 0.61). The foal born to a seronegative dam and all 11 young horses from the farm were seronegative to EAV. At least 2 of 5 stallions on the farm were persistently infected carriers that were shedding virus in their semen. Immunoblot analysis of seropositive serum samples most consistently recognized the Μ protein of EAV.

Clinical Implications—

Analysis of these data indicated that a modified-live EAV vaccine can be administered to foals after they are 8 months old without risk of interference from maternal antibodies, regardless of serologic status of the foal's dam. Horizontal transmission of EAV via the respiratory tract apparently was uncommon on the farm, indicating that mares primarily were infected by venereal transmission of virus from carrier stallions. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;213:839-842)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Prior to 1988, rabies was reported only sporadically in coyotes. However, in the final 4 months of 1988, Starr County, Tex, which is situated on the US-Mexico border, experienced an epizootic of canine rabies, consisting of 6 laboratory-confirmed cases of rabies in coyotes and of 2 cases in domestic dogs. The first 3 cases were detected in coyotes, and the first case in a domestic dog was observed 84 days after the index case. Adjacent Hidalgo County reported 9 cases of rabies in dogs during the same time that rabid dogs were being reported in Starr County. In 1989, the epizootic primarily involved dogs: 15 dogs in Starr County and 19 dogs in Hidalgo County. Five rabid coyotes were reported in Starr County in 1989, and 1 rabid coyote was reported from Hidalgo County. In 1990, rabies was reported in 3 coyotes and in 31 dogs in Starr County; cases were not detected in Hidalgo County. During 1991, the epizootic expanded approximately 160 km northward, resulting in laboratory-confirmed cases in 42 coyotes and 25 dogs in 10 counties. In 1992, Webb and Willacy Counties became involved; 70 rabid coyotes and 41 rabid dogs were reported in 1992 from the 12-county area. During the first 6 months of 1993, there were 31 rabid coyotes and 38 rabid dogs reported from the same 12 south Texas counties. In May 1993, a raccoon infected with the canine rabies ecotype was reported from Cameron County. Antigenic and genetic analysis revealed the virus ecotype affecting dogs and coyotes to be that associated with urban canine rabies along the US-Mexico border.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effectiveness of intervention efforts to halt 2 wildlife rabies epizootics from 1995 through 2003, including 9 oral rabies vaccination campaigns for coyotes and 8 oral rabies vaccination campaigns for gray foxes.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—98 coyotes during prevaccination surveillance and 963 coyotes and 104 nontarget animals during postvaccination surveillance in south Texas, and 699 gray foxes and 561 nontarget animals during postvaccination surveillance in west-central Texas.

Procedures—A recombinant-virus oral rabies vaccine in edible baits was distributed by aircraft for consumption by coyotes and gray foxes. Bait acceptance was monitored by use of microscopic analysis of tetracycline biomarker in upper canine teeth and associated bone structures in animals collected for surveillance. Serologic responses were monitored by testing sera for rabies virus–neutralizing antibodies by use of the rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test. The incidence of rabies in the distribution area was recorded via active and passive surveillance activities; tracking of rabies virus variants in confirmed rabid animals was used to determine the number and type of rabies cases before and after distributions of the vaccine.

Results—The expansion of both epizootics was halted as a result of the vaccine bait program. The number of laboratory-confirmed rabid animals attributable to the domestic dog-coyote rabies virus variant in south Texas declined to 0, whereas the number of laboratory- confirmed rabid animals attributable to the Texas fox rabies virus variant in west-central Texas decreased.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Data indicated that oral rabies vaccination resulted in protective immunity in a sufficient percentage of the target wildlife population to preclude propagation of the disease and provided an effective means of controlling rabies in these species. ( J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:785–792)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association