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Postexposure prophylaxis for prevention of rabies in dogs

Cathleen A. HanlonCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mailstop G-33, Atlanta, GA 30333.

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Michael NiezgodaCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mailstop G-33, Atlanta, GA 30333.

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Charles E. RupprechtCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mailstop G-33, Atlanta, GA 30333.

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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) in dogs experimentally infected with rabies.

Procedure—29 Beagles.

Procedure—Dogs were sedated and inoculated in the right masseter muscle with a salivary gland homogenate from a naturally infected rabid dog (day 0). Six hours later, 5 dogs were treated by administration of 2 murine anti-rabies glycoprotein monoclonal antibodies (mAb) and commercial vaccine; 5 received mAb alone; 5 received purified, heat-treated, equine rabies immune globulin (PHT-ERIG) and vaccine; 5 received PHT-ERIG alone; 4 received vaccine alone; and 5 control dogs were not treated. The mAb or PHTERIG was administered at the site of rabies virus inoculation. Additional vaccine doses for groups mAb plus vaccine, PHT-ERIG plus vaccine, and vaccine alone were administered IM in the right hind limb on days 3, 7, 14, and 35.

Results—All control dogs and dogs that received only vaccine developed rabies. In the PHT-ERIG and vaccine group, 2 of 5 dogs were protected, whereas none were protected with PHT-ERIG alone. Use of mAb alone resulted in protection in 4 of 5 dogs. Administration of mAb in combination with vaccine provided protection in all 5 dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Current national guidelines recommend euthanasia or a 6- month quarantine for unvaccinated animals exposed to rabies. Findings from this study document that vaccine alone following severe exposure was unable to provide protection from rabies. However, vaccine combined with mAb resulted in protection in all treated dogs, revealing the potential use of mAb in PEP against rabies in naïve dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1096–1100)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) in dogs experimentally infected with rabies.

Procedure—29 Beagles.

Procedure—Dogs were sedated and inoculated in the right masseter muscle with a salivary gland homogenate from a naturally infected rabid dog (day 0). Six hours later, 5 dogs were treated by administration of 2 murine anti-rabies glycoprotein monoclonal antibodies (mAb) and commercial vaccine; 5 received mAb alone; 5 received purified, heat-treated, equine rabies immune globulin (PHT-ERIG) and vaccine; 5 received PHT-ERIG alone; 4 received vaccine alone; and 5 control dogs were not treated. The mAb or PHTERIG was administered at the site of rabies virus inoculation. Additional vaccine doses for groups mAb plus vaccine, PHT-ERIG plus vaccine, and vaccine alone were administered IM in the right hind limb on days 3, 7, 14, and 35.

Results—All control dogs and dogs that received only vaccine developed rabies. In the PHT-ERIG and vaccine group, 2 of 5 dogs were protected, whereas none were protected with PHT-ERIG alone. Use of mAb alone resulted in protection in 4 of 5 dogs. Administration of mAb in combination with vaccine provided protection in all 5 dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Current national guidelines recommend euthanasia or a 6- month quarantine for unvaccinated animals exposed to rabies. Findings from this study document that vaccine alone following severe exposure was unable to provide protection from rabies. However, vaccine combined with mAb resulted in protection in all treated dogs, revealing the potential use of mAb in PEP against rabies in naïve dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1096–1100)