Oral rabies vaccination of skunks and foxes with a recombinant human adenovirus vaccine
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A new recombinant rabies vaccine (human adenovirus 5 containing the rabies glycoprotein gene) was given to striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). Groups of skunks received the vaccine in baits, by direct instillation into the mouth, or intramuscularly. Foxes were given vaccine by direct instillation into the oral cavity (DIOC). Selected groups of vaccinated skunks and foxes were challenged with street rabies virus. There were high rates of seroconversion (generally with high antibody titers) in both foxes and skunks, with survival of all challenged vaccinated animals (all challenge controls developed rabies). In skunks, vaccine given DIOC was effective over a broad range of doses (10(8.7), 10(7.6) and 10(6.4) median tissue culture infective doses). There was no evidence of pathogenic effects. The results indicate that this adenovirus recombinant has considerable potential as a wildlife oral rabies vaccine.
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