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Vaccine. 1992;10(3):192-7.

An immune stimulating complex (ISCOM) subunit rabies vaccine protects dogs and mice against street rabies challenge.

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  • 1Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333.


Dogs and mice were immunized with either a rabies glycoprotein subunit vaccine incorporated into an immune stimulating complex (ISCOM) or a commercial human diploid cell vaccine (HDCV) prepared from a Pitman Moore (PM) rabies vaccine strain. Pre-exposure vaccination of mice with two intraperitoneal (i.p.) doses of 360 ng ISCOM or 0.5 ml HDCV protected 95% (38/40) and 90% (36/40) of mice, respectively, against a lethal intracerebral (i.c.) dose with challenge virus strain (CVS). One 360 ng i.p. dose of ISCOM protected 87.5% (35/40) of mice against i.c. challenge with CVS. Three groups of five dogs were vaccinated intramuscularly (i.m.) with 730 ng of rabies ISCOM prepared from either the PM or the CVS rabies strains, and they resisted lethal street rabies challenge. Postexposure treatment of mice with three or four 120 ng i.m. doses of ISCOM protected 90% (27/30) and 94% (45/48), respectively, of mice inoculated in the footpad with street rabies virus, but three doses of HDCV conferred no protection. When four doses of HDCV were administered postexposure, 78% (32/41) of the mice died of anaphylactic shock; 21% (11/52) of mice had already died of rabies 4 days after the third vaccine dose was administered.

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