Environmental distribution of certain modified live-virus vaccines with a high safety profile presents a low-risk, high-reward to control zoonotic diseases.
ABSTRACT: Oral vaccines aid immunization of hard to reach animal populations but often contain live-attenuated viruses that pose risks of reversion to virulence or residual pathogenicity. Human risk assessment is crucial prior to vaccine field distribution but there is currently no standardized approach. We mapped exposure pathways by which distribution of oral vaccines may result in inoculation into people and applied a Markov chain to estimate the number of severe adverse events. We simulated three oral rabies vaccination (ORV) campaigns: (1) first generation ORV (SAD-B19) in foxes, (2) SAD-B19 in dogs, and (3) third generation ORV (SPBN GASGAS) in dogs. The risk of SAD-B19-associated human deaths was predicted to be low (0.18 per 10 million baits, 95% CI: 0.08, 0.36) when distributed to foxes, but, consistent with international concern, 19 times greater (3.35 per 10 million baits, 95% CI: 2.83, 3.98) when distributed to dogs. We simulated no deaths from SPBN GAS-GAS. Human deaths during dog campaigns were particularly sensitive to dog bite rate, and during wildlife campaigns to animal consumption rate and human contact rate with unconsumed baits. This model highlights the safety of third generation rabies vaccines and serves as a platform for standardized approaches to inform risk assessments.
Project description:Rabies is a fatal zoonosis that still causes nearly 70, 000 human deaths every year. In Europe, the oral rabies vaccination (ORV) of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) was developed in the late 1970s and has demonstrated its effectiveness in the eradication of the disease in Western and some Central European countries. Following the accession of the three Baltic countries--Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania--to the European Union in 2004, subsequent financial support has allowed the implementation of regular ORV campaigns since 2005-2006. This paper reviews ten years of surveillance efforts and ORV campaigns in these countries resulting in the near eradication of the disease. The various factors that may have influenced the results of vaccination monitoring were assessed using generalized linear models (GLMs) on bait uptake and on herd immunity. As shown in previous studies, juveniles had lower bait uptake level than adults. For the first time, raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) were shown to have significantly lower bait uptake proportion compared with red foxes. This result suggests potentially altered ORV effectiveness in this invasive species compared to the red foxes. An extensive phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the North-East European (NEE) rabies phylogroup is endemic in all three Baltic countries. Although successive oral vaccination campaigns have substantially reduced the number of detected rabies cases, sporadic detection of the C lineage (European part of Russian phylogroup) underlines the risk of reintroduction via westward spread from bordering countries. Vaccine induced cases were also reported for the first time in non-target species (Martes martes and Meles meles).
Project description:Despite the implementation of control measures (preventive dog vaccination), rabies has become endemic in Croatia, with red foxes being the main reservoir species. Oral rabies vaccination (ORV) campaigns supported by the European Commission have been conducted twice a year since the spring of 2011. The first campaigns were limited to the northern and eastern parts of the country, and from the autumn of 2012, the program was extended to the entire country. The Lysvulpen vaccine containing the SAD Bern strain was used for ORV. Following the vaccination campaigns, the number of rabies cases decreased, and the last positive case was recorded in February 2014. The bait uptake ranged from 24.86% to 84.62% and the immunisation rate from 11.24% to 35.64%.
Project description:The statistics of rabies cases in Volyn, Lviv, and Zakarpattia oblasts of Ukraine from 2012 to 2016 were analyzed to establish spatial-temporal distribution of rabies endemic outbreaks and to identify causes of widespread infections among wild and domestic animals. The occurrence of rabies outbreaks in wild and domestic animals in Ukraine was also assessed to determine the effectiveness of oral rabies vaccination (ORV) efforts. According to our analysis, parenteral vaccination of domestic animals and ORV campaigns in foxes have proved unsuccessful in providing a sustainable, long-term reduction in endemic rabies outbreaks. ORV campaigns in foxes were deemed ineffective based on our studies of the endemic rabies outbreaks in Volyn, Lviv, and Zakarpattia oblasts in 2012-2016. The current rabies prevention system (parenteral vaccination) failed to offer protection to domestic animals based on our review of the occurrence of endemic rabies outbreaks in dogs and cats. ORV campaign shortcomings and their causes must be identified in order to provide maximum rabies vaccine coverage for dogs and cats. Altogether, the results presented here provide information that can assist public health agencies to devise more effective disease control plans to curtail the spread of rabies in domestic animals and wildlife in Ukraine.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Oral rabies vaccination (ORV) in rabies infected regions should target the primary rabies vector species, which in Lithuania includes raccoon dogs as well as red foxes. Specific investigations on ORV in raccoon dogs are needed e.g. evaluation of vaccine effectiveness under field conditions. The objective of the current study was to investigate the efficacy of the ORV programme 2006-2010 in Lithuania by examining the number of rabies cases and estimating the prevalences of a tetracycline biomarker (TTC) and rabies virus antibodies in raccoon dogs. METHODS: From 2006 to 2010, 12.5 million rabies vaccine-baits were distributed by aircraft. Baiting occurred twice per year (spring and autumn), targeting raccoon dogs and red foxes in a 63,000 km2 area of Lithuania. The mandibles of raccoon dogs found dead or killed in the vaccination area were analyzed by fluorescence microscopy for the presence of the TTC. Rabies virus sera neutralizing anti-glycoprotein antibody titres were determined using an indirect ELISA method and seroconversion (> 0.5 EU/ml) rates were estimated. RESULTS: During the study period, 51.5% of raccoon dog mandibles were positive for TTC. 1688 of 3260 tested adults and 69 of 175 tested cubs were TTC positive. Forty-seven percent of raccoon dog serum samples were positive for rabies virus antibodies. 302 of 621 investigated adults and 33 of 95 investigated cubs were seropositive. In the same time 302 of 684 and 43 of 124 tested samples were TTC and ELISA positive in spring; whereas 1455 of 2751 and 292 of 592 tested samples were TTC and ELISA positive in autumn. There was a positive correlation between the number of TTC and antibody positive animals for both adult and cub groups. CONCLUSIONS: ORV was effective in reducing the prevalence of rabies in the raccoon dog population in Lithuania. The prevalence of rabies cases in raccoon dogs in Lithuania decreased from 60.7% in 2006-2007 to 6.5% in 2009-2010.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In the last few decades, Romania has been considered one of the European countries most affected by animal rabies, but a combination of oral rabies vaccination (ORV) campaigns in foxes alongside mandatory vaccination of pets has substantially decreased the number of rabies cases in recent years. The objective of this study was to detect rabies antibodies in wild boar serum and thoracic fluid samples collected during the hunting season after ORV campaigns in north-eastern Romania in order to identify if wild boars are substantial competitors to foxes for ORV baits. RESULTS:When the 312 wild boar samples were tested by ELISA (BioPro ELISA, Czech Republic), 42.31% (132/312) demonstrated rabies antibodies. In order to compare these wild boar results in terms of the percentage of immunisation, fox samples were also included in the study, and in this case only 28.40% (98/345) demonstrated rabies antibodies by ELISA. To check the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of this ELISA, those samples with a sufficient volume from both species that had tested either negative or positive with an initial ELISA were then tested with the Fluorescent Antibody Virus Neutralisation (FAVN) assay. The overall concordance between the BioPro ELISA and FAVN test was 74.26% (75/101) in wild boar samples and 65.66% (65/99) in fox samples, 140 out of 200 samples being correlated with the two methods, although no significant statistical difference (p?=?0.218) between the two species was registered. We found a good agreement by both tests for the ELISA-positive samples (91.30%), however the situation was different for the ELISA-negative samples, where a low agreement was demonstrated (41.18%). CONCLUSIONS:This study reports for the first time the presence of rabies antibodies in wild boar samples collected during the hunting season in Romania after ORV campaigns in rabies endemic areas. It is also the first study to demonstrate that ELISA BioPro can be used on wild boar samples with satisfactory results compared to the FAVN test for this species.
Project description:Oral rabies vaccination (ORV) is highly effective in foxes and raccoon dogs, whereas for unknown reasons the efficacy of ORV in other reservoir species is less pronounced. To investigate possible variations in species-specific cell tropism and local replication of vaccine virus, different reservoir species including foxes, raccoon dogs, raccoons, mongooses, dogs and skunks were orally immunised with a highly attenuated, high-titred GFP-expressing rabies virus (RABV). Immunofluorescence and RT-qPCR screenings revealed clear differences among species suggesting host specific limitations to ORV. While for responsive species the palatine tonsils (tonsilla palatina) were identified as a main site of virus replication, less virus dissemination was observed in the tonsils of rather refractory species. While our comparison of vaccine virus tropism emphasizes the important role that the tonsilla palatina plays in eliciting an immune response to ORV, our data also indicate that other lymphoid tissues may have a more important role than originally anticipated. Overall, these data support a model in which the susceptibility to oral live RABV vaccine infection of lymphatic tissue is a major determinant in vaccination efficacy. The present results may help to direct future research for improving vaccine uptake and efficacy of oral rabies vaccines under field conditions.
Project description:During the 20th century parenteral vaccination of dogs at central-point locations was the foundation of successful canine rabies elimination programs in numerous countries. However, countries that remain enzootic for canine rabies have lower infrastructural development compared to countries that have achieved elimination, which may make traditional vaccination methods less successful. Alternative vaccination methods for dogs must be considered, such as oral rabies vaccine (ORV). In 2016, a traditional mass dog vaccination campaign in Haiti was supplemented with ORV to improve vaccination coverage and to evaluate the use of ORV in dogs. Blisters containing live-attenuated, vaccine strain SPBNGAS-GAS were placed in intestine bait and distributed to dogs by hand. Serum was collected from 107 dogs, aged 3-12 months with no reported prior rabies vaccination, pre-vaccination and from 78/107 dogs (72.9%) 17 days post-vaccination. The rapid florescent focus inhibition test (RFFIT) was used to detect neutralizing antibodies and an ELISA to detect rabies binding antibodies. Post-vaccination, 38/41 (92.7%) dogs that received parenteral vaccine had detectable antibody (RFFIT >0.05?IU/mL), compared to 16/27 (59.3%, p?<?0.01) dogs that received ORV or 21/27 (77.8%) as measured by ELISA (>40% blocking, p?<?0.05). The fate of 291 oral vaccines was recorded; 283 dogs (97.2%) consumed the bait; 272 dogs (93.4%) were observed to puncture the blister, and only 14 blisters (4.8%) could not be retrieved by vaccinators and were potentially left in the environment. Pre-vaccination antibodies (RFFIT >0.05?IU/mL) were detected in 10/107 reportedly vaccine-naïve dogs (9.3%). Parenteral vaccination remains the most reliable method for ensuring adequate immune response in dogs, however ORV represents a viable strategy to supplement existing parental vaccination campaigns in hard-to-reach dog populations. The hand-out model reduces the risk of unintended contact with ORV through minimizing vaccine blisters left in the community.
Project description:The live genetically-engineered oral rabies virus (RABV) variant SPBN GASGAS induces long-lasting immunity in foxes and protection against challenge with an otherwise lethal dose of RABV field strains both after experimental oral and parenteral routes of administration. Induction of RABV-specific binding antibodies and immunoglobulin isotypes (IgM, total IgG, IgG1, IgG2) were comparable in orally and parenterally vaccinated foxes. Differences were only observed in the induction of virus-neutralizing (VNA) titers, which were significantly higher in the parenterally vaccinated group. The dynamics of rabies-specific antibodies pre- and post-challenge (365 days post vaccination) suggest the predominance of type-1 immunity protection of SPBN GASGAS. Independent of the route of administration, in the absence of IgG1 the immune response to SPBN GAGAS was mainly IgG2 driven. Interestingly, vaccination with SPBN GASGAS does not cause significant differences in inducible IFN-? production in vaccinated animals, indicating a relatively weak cellular immune response during challenge. Notably, the parenteral application of SPBN GASGAS did not induce any adverse side effects in foxes, thus supporting safety studies of this oral rabies vaccine in various species.
Project description:In order to obtain Marketing Authorization for an oral rabies vaccine in the European Union, not only safety studies in the target species, red fox and raccoon dog, are required. Since baits are distributed unsupervised in the environment, specific safety studies in selected non-target species are compulsory. Furthermore, oral rabies vaccines are based on live, replication-competent viruses and thus distinct safety studies in the target species for such type of vaccines are also mandatory. Here, the results of these safety studies in target and selected non-target species for a 3rd generation oral rabies virus vaccine construct, SPBN GASGAS (Rabitec), are presented. The studies included the following species; red fox, raccoon dog, domestic dog, domestic cat, domestic pig, wild rodents. The following safety topics were investigated; overdose, repeated dose, dissemination, shedding, horizontal and vertical transmission. It was shown that SPBN GASGAS did not cause disease or any other adverse reaction in vaccinated animals and naïve contact animals. The vaccine did not disseminate within the host beyond the site of entry. No horizontal transmission was observed in wild rodents. In the target species, there was evidence that in a few cases horizontal transmission of vaccine virus could have occurred under these experimental conditions; most likely immediately after vaccine administration. The vaccine construct SPBN GASGAS meets therefore the latest revised minimal safety requirements as laid down in the European Pharmacopoeia.
Project description:The main reservoir of rabies virus in Poland has been the red fox. To control rabies in wildlife, oral immunization of foxes was introduced in 1993. The vaccine is effective when it confers immunity against the virus circulating in the environment. To assess the above issue, a study of the molecular characteristics of 570-bp fragments of the N and G genes of vaccine strains SAD B19 and SAD Bern against street virus strains was performed. The results confirmed the similarity of the vaccine strains and rabies virus strains circulating in the environment and also demonstrate the genetic stability of vaccine strains that have been distributed in Poland for 20 years.