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Vaccine. 1999 Oct 14;18(5-6):479-86.

Immunization of dogs with a DNA vaccine induces protection against rabies virus.

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Laboratoire des Lyssavirus; Institut Pasteur 25, rue du Dr. Roux 75724, Paris Cedex, France.


Rabies is a fatal encephalomyelitis which is transmitted to man, mostly by dogs in developing countries. This zoonosis can be prevented by vaccination of humans before or after exposure. However, a more radical approach is possible, involving the elimination of the principal vector/reservoir by vaccinating dogs. The vaccine must be effective, safe and inexpensive. Mass production of plasmids is possible and DNA-based immunization with a plasmid encoding the antigen responsible for inducing protection seems to be more cost-effective than classical techniques involving cell culture. Beagles were immunized by intramuscular (i.m.) injection with a plasmid encoding the rabies virus (PV strain) glycoprotein. Neutralizing antibodies against both wild-type rabies virus and European Bat Lyssaviruses (EBL1 and EBL2) were detected after a single injection and a boost, but levels of neutralizing antibodies against EBL1 were low. Moreover, all vaccinated dogs were protected against a lethal challenge with a wild-type dog rabies strain. This is one of the first studies to demonstrate that dogs can be protected by DNA vaccines, and opens important perspectives for rabies control.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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