Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New Vaccine for Wildlife Rabies


While the raccoon that raids your trash at night may look cute and mischievous, think again. Its claws can be nasty. Even worse, it might carry rabies.

Now, scientists at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and at Molecular Targeting Technologies, Inc. (MTTI) in West Chester, Pa., are taking steps to prevent the disease. They have created a more powerful, safer vaccine than currently is available to combat rabies in wildlife.

Wildlife rabies is no small matter in this country. It’s particularly prevalent along the East Coast, and more than 90 percent of reported cases of rabies in all are in wildlife. Raccoons are the most affected, with skunk a close second. Worldwide, and especially in underdeveloped nations, rabies takes a large human toll: More than 60,000 human deaths a year.

In work published December 9 in the journal Vaccine, researchers led by Bernhard Dietzschold, DVM, professor of microbiology and immunology, at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, created a new live rabies vaccine by manipulating the virus itself, making it much weaker than before. The scientists also made the vaccine much more immunogenic, meaning it aroused a much more robust response from the immune system. “The advantages of our vaccine are its lack of pathogenicity and the fact that it’s much more immunogenic,” he says. Live virus vaccines always carry the potential to actually cause the disease they are designed to prevent.

“We have developed a very specific rabies vaccine which displays high titers and the lack of pathogenicity for immunocompetent mice even after many passages,” says Dr. Dietzschold, meaning that the vaccine retained its potency over time. “This novel rabies vaccine will be an excellent candidate for immunization of stray dogs and wildlife.”

“We have found a master key to turn on and off the pathogenicity of the virus,” says Chris Pak, Ph.D., MTTI president and CEO. “We are extremely pleased with these preliminary positive results. Rabies is not only a public health problem that causes more than 60,000 human deaths per year worldwide but also caused a tremendous economic burden. In the United States alone, more than $1 billion are spent annually for control, treatment and prevention of rabies.”

Using “bioreactor technology,” a sophisticated cell culture system, scientists at MTTI produced large amounts of vaccine easily and inexpensively – a key, says Dr. Dietzschold, to mass production.

One of the problems with current vaccines is that fact that several varieties are used, depending on the particular species of animal. Jefferson and MTTI scientists hope their vaccine will prove useful for rabies prevention in several species. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta currently is testing the effectiveness of the vaccine in raccoons, dogs, skunks and mongoose over the next six months.

The next step, Dr. Dietzschold says, is field trials of the vaccine. In such trials, animals would be given food baits with vaccine, then later captured and tested for rabies antibodies. He notes that some 70 percent of an animal population in an area needs to have sufficient antibodies to control the spread of the disease.

As scientists continue to better understand the specific ways the vaccine confers immunity, it will be possible to improve the vaccine’s potency, obtaining immunity with a minimal dose, he says.

Steve Benowitz | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>