Objective—To evaluate the humoral immune response of Asian elephants to a primary IM vaccination with either 1 or 2 doses of a commercially available inactivated rabies virus vaccine and evaluate the anamnestic response to a 1-dose booster vaccination.
Animals—16 captive Asian elephants.
Procedures—Elephants with no known prior rabies vaccinations were assigned into 2 treatment groups of 8 elephants; 1 group received 1 dose of vaccine, and the other group received 2 doses of vaccine 9 days apart. All elephants received one or two 4-mL IM injections of a monovalent inactivated rabies virus vaccine. Blood was collected prior to vaccination (day 0) and on days 9, 35, 112, and 344. All elephants received 1 booster dose of vaccine on day 344, and a final blood sample was taken 40 days later (day 384). Serum was tested for rabies virus–neutralizing antibodies by use of the rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test.
Results—All elephants were seronegative prior to vaccination. There were significant differences in the rabies geometric mean titers between the 2 elephant groups at days 35, 112, and 202. Both groups had a strong anamnestic response 40 days after the booster given at day 344.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results confirmed the ability of Asian elephants to develop a humoral immune response after vaccination with a commercially available monovalent inactivated rabies virus vaccine and the feasibility of instituting a rabies virus vaccination program for elephants that are in frequent contact with humans. A 2-dose series of rabies virus vaccine should provide an adequate antibody response in elephants, and annual boosters should maintain the antibody response in this species.
Objective—To determine the effects of anesthesia and surgery on serologic responses to vaccination in kittens.
Design—Prospective controlled trial.
Animals—32 specific-pathogen–free kittens.
Procedures—Kittens were assigned to 1 of 4 treatment groups: neutering at 7, 8, or 9 weeks of age or no neutering. All kittens were inoculated with modified-live virus vaccines against feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), feline herpesvirus (FHV), and feline calicivirus (FCV) at 8, 11, and 14 weeks of age and inactivated rabies virus (RV) at 14 weeks of age. Serum antibody titers against FPV, FHV, and FCV were determined at 8, 9, 11, 14, and 17 weeks of age; RV titers were determined at 14 and 17 weeks of age.
Results—Serologic responses of kittens neutered at the time of first vaccination (8 weeks) were not different from those of kittens neutered 1 week before (7 weeks) or 1 week after (9 weeks) first vaccination or from those of kittens that were not neutered. In total, 31%, 0%, 69%, and 9% of kittens failed to develop adequate titers against FPV, FCV, FHV, and RV, respectively, by 17 weeks of age.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Neutering at or near the time of first vaccination with a modified-live virus vaccine did not impair antibody responses in kittens. Many kittens that were last vaccinated at 14 weeks of age had inadequate antibody titers at 17 weeks of age. Kittens may be vaccinated in the perioperative period when necessary, and the primary vaccination series should be extended through at least 16 weeks of age.
Objective—To compare anamnestic antibody responses of dogs and cats with current versus out-of-date vaccination status.
Animals—74 dogs and 33 cats.
Procedures—Serum samples were obtained from dogs and cats that had been exposed to rabies and brought to a veterinarian for proactive serologic monitoring or that had been brought to a veterinarian for booster rabies vaccination. Blood samples were collected on the day of initial evaluation (day 0) and then again 5 to 15 days later. On day 0, a rabies vaccine was administered according to label recommendations. Paired serum samples were analyzed for antirabies antibodies by means of a rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test.
Results—All animals had an antirabies antibody titer ≥ 0.5 IU/mL 5 to 15 days after booster vaccination. Dogs with an out-of-date vaccination status had a higher median increase in titer, higher median fold increase in titer, and higher median titer following booster vaccination, compared with dogs with current vaccination status. Most (26/33) cats, regardless of rabies vaccination status, had a titer ≥ 12 IU/mL 5 to 15 days after booster vaccination.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that dogs with out-of-date vaccination status were not inferior in their antibody response following booster rabies vaccination, compared with dogs with current vaccination status. Findings supported immediate booster vaccination followed by observation for 45 days of dogs and cats with an out-of-date vaccination status that are exposed to rabies, as is the current practice for dogs and cats with current vaccination status.
Objective—To determine whether administration of inactivated virus or modified-live virus (MLV) vaccines to feral cats at the time of neutering induces protective serum antiviral antibody titers.
Animals—61 feral cats included in a trap-neuter-return program in Florida.
Procedures—Each cat received vaccines against feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), feline herpes virus (FHV), feline calicivirus (FCV), FeLV, and rabies virus (RV). Immediately on completion of surgery, vaccines that contained inactivated RV and FeLV antigens and either MLV or inactivated FPV, FHV, and FCV antigens were administered. Titers of antiviral antibodies (except those against FeLV) were assessed in serum samples obtained immediately prior to surgery and approximately 10 weeks later.
Results—Prior to vaccination, some of the cats had protective serum antibody titers against FPV (33%), FHV (21%), FCV (64%), and RV (3%). Following vaccination, the overall proportion of cats with protective serum antiviral antibody titers increased (FPV [90%], FHV [56%], FCV [93%], and RV [98%]). With the exception of the FHV vaccine, there were no differences in the proportions of cats protected with inactivated virus versus MLV vaccines.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that exposure to FPV, FHV, and FCV is common among feral cats and that a high proportion of cats are susceptible to RV infection. Feral cats appeared to have an excellent immune response following vaccination at the time of neutering. Incorporation of vaccination into trap-neuter-return programs is likely to protect the health of individual cats and possibly reduce the disease burden in the community.