Oral vaccination of fox cubs against rabies in the vicinity of dens

Veterinarni Medicina 43, 1998, 245-248

The additional oral antirabies vaccination of fox: cubs was tested in two districts by placing the vaccine baits near to dens. The Lysvulpen (SAD-Bern) oral vaccine produced by Bioveta Ivanovice company was used in the field trial. 7 150 vaccine doses were distributed to 794 fox dens in the territory of 1962 km(2). The vaccine campaign was performed during tha last week of May 1997. 8-10 baits were placed to each den by voluntary hunters. Checking of the bait uptake was carried out by the hunters on the second, fifth and eighth days after the distribution. The laboratory checking which began four weeks after the distribution of the baits was focused on tetracycline marking and rabies antibody presence in body liquids. Juvenile foxes from both treated and non-treated areas were examined. In both areas the spring oral vaccination campaign was held in a traditional way. The Lysvulpen vaccine has shown a good attractivity for the fox cubs. The major part of the vaccine baits was eaten up during the first five days (78%) and the total uptake made 89.5%. 7-12% of the baits was eaten by non-target animals. In the experimentally treated, area, the TTC marker was present in 46.3% cubs and antibodies in 30.2 % of body liquids. The examination of brains for the presence of rabies virus was negative in all cases. There was no case of vaccine virus infection of the fox cubs. 99 cubs from the nontreated control area were examined. Tetracycline was found in 9% and the antibodies in 7.8% of cases. The results obtained proved that the oral vaccination of fox cubs - being performed in the neighbourhood of dens - is a useful additional rabies control method. It enables to immunise the juvenile foxes - it means the part of the fox population which is not affected during the traditional spring vaccination campaign

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