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Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2006 Dec;4(6):1021-38.

Current and future trends in the prevention, treatment and control of rabies.

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Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, MS G33, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


Rabies remains a global zoonosis of major public health, agricultural and economic significance. Dogs are the major animal reservoirs in developing regions, wildlife maintain cycles of infection even in developed countries and new viral etiological agents continue to emerge. Nearly all human rabies cases are related directly to animal bite and thus, primary disease prevention requires minimization of suspected exposures. Once exposure occurs, modern prophylaxis entails immediate wound care, local infiltration of rabies immune globulin and parenteral administration of modern cell culture vaccines in multiple doses. Pre-exposure vaccination should occur in selected population groups at risk of occupational exposure. Historically, survival from fatal rabies by at least five human patients, vaccinated prior to the onset of clinical signs, signaled initial optimism as to the theoretical utility of medical intervention. Recently, the heroic recovery of an unvaccinated teenager from clinical rabies offers hope of future specific therapy. Canine rabies elimination is the key towards ultimate reduction of the disease burden, as first illustrated in developed countries. Implementation of oral vaccination in free-ranging carnivore hosts demonstrates the feasibility of disease abatement in particular wildlife populations, such as demonstrated in Europe and North America, with an enhanced need for application to developing countries in the Americas, Africa and Eurasia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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