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Current rabies vaccines and prophylaxis schedules: Preventing rabies before and after exposure

Authors
Journal
Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease
1477-8939
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
10
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2011.12.005
Keywords
  • Travel
  • Pre-Exposure
  • Post-Exposure
  • Intradermal
  • 4-Site
Disciplines
  • Economics
  • Medicine

Abstract

Summary Travellers are probably the largest group in the general population to receive rabies pre-exposure prophylaxis. The dangerous consequences of the unavailability of rabies immune globulin in many countries could be ameliorated if pre-exposure rabies vaccination were practised more widely, especially in children, living in dog rabies enzootic countries. The WHO has recommended several different regimens for post-exposure prophylaxis, while individual countries decide on protocols for local use. Intramuscular regimens are expensive and waste vaccine. Although failure to receive vaccine is usually the due to the cost, the economical potential of intradermal vaccination has still not been realised 19 years after its introduction. The currently recommended 2-site intradermal post-exposure regimen is not economical for use in rural areas where 80% of Indian rabies deaths occur. Most countries using it demand higher potency vaccine, indicating that they do not have complete confidence in the method. This intradermal regimen has only been used where immunoglobulin is likely to be available for severely bitten patients. Increased intradermal doses are sometimes used for selected patients. Provision of economical rabies prophylaxis can be improved. Decisions to change recommendations should take account of the immunological, financial, practical and logistical aspects of dog bite treatment in remote areas.

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