Review of oral rabies vaccination of dogs and its application in India

Gowri Yale, Marwin Lopes, S Isloor, Jennifer R Head, Stella Mazeri, Luke Gamble, Kinzang Dukpa, Gyanendra GONGAL, Andrew Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Oral rabies vaccines (ORVs) have been in use to successfully control rabies in wildlife since 1978 across Europe and the USA. This review focuses on the potential and need for the use of ORVs in free-roaming dogs to control dog-transmitted rabies in India. Iterative work to improve ORVs over the past four decades has resulted in vaccines that have high safety profiles whilst generating a consistent protective immune response to the rabies virus. The available evidence for safety and efficacy of modern ORVs in dogs and the broad and outspoken support from prominent global public health institutions for their use provides confidence to national authorities considering their use in rabies-endemic regions. India is estimated to have the largest rabies burden of any country and, whilst considerable progress has been made to increase access to human rabies prophylaxis, examples of high-output mass dog vaccination campaigns to eliminate the virus at the source remain limited. Efficiently accessing a large proportion of the dog population through parenteral methods is a considerable challenge due to the large, evasive stray dog population in many settings. Existing parenteral approaches require large skilled dog-catching teams to reach these dogs, which present financial, operational and logistical limitations to achieve 70% dog vaccination coverage in urban settings in a short duration. ORV presents the potential to accelerate the development of approaches to eliminate rabies across large areas of the South Asia region. Here we review the use of ORVs in wildlife and dogs, with specific consideration of the India setting. We also present the results of a risk analysis for a hypothetical campaign using ORV for the vaccination of dogs in an Indian state.
Original languageEnglish
Article number155
Issue number1
Early online date14 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • canine rabies control
  • dog mediated human rabies
  • free roaming dogs
  • oral rabies vaccine


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