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Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(3), 34; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2030034

Enhanced Rabies Surveillance to Support Effective Oral Rabies Vaccination of Raccoons in the Eastern United States

United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Rabies Management Program, Concord, NH 03301, USA
LYSSA, LLC, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
Poxvirus and Rabies Branch, Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 24 July 2017 / Published: 28 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rabies Symptoms, Diagnosis, Prophylaxis and Treatment)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [820 KB, uploaded 28 July 2017]   |  


Enhanced rabies surveillance (ERS) is essential for sound oral rabies vaccination (ORV) decisions to prevent the spread of specific rabies virus variants in meso-carnivores and to achieve disease elimination. Use of a direct rapid immunohistochemistry test (dRIT) in North America for timely, accurate rabies diagnosis in the field has facilitated greater ERS emphasis since 2005. ERS used in tandem with exposure-based public health surveillance provides a comprehensive understanding of the geographic distribution of rabies as an aid to formulate effective management strategies for raccoons and other meso-carnivores. In 2015, best management practices were implemented for improving, reinvigorating, and standardizing ERS. A point system for weighing ERS sample categories was evaluated, to determine whether sampling emphasis should be focused upon ill or strange-acting animals, the highest quality category. During 2016, 70.7% of rabid animals detected through ERS in raccoon rabies management states were obtained from strange-acting animals, followed by animals found dead (14.1%), road kills (9.1%), and nuisance-collected specimens (6.1%). Sample category weights may be adjusted based on additional evaluation to ensure continued emphasis on the highest value samples. High quality ERS, in conjunction with serologic evidence of population-based immunity, form the backbone for ORV decisions in the elimination of raccoon rabies. View Full-Text
Keywords: enhanced rabies surveillance; oral rabies vaccination; rabies elimination; raccoon; wildlife; zoonosis enhanced rabies surveillance; oral rabies vaccination; rabies elimination; raccoon; wildlife; zoonosis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kirby, J.D.; Chipman, R.B.; Nelson, K.M.; Rupprecht, C.E.; Blanton, J.D.; Algeo, T.P.; Slate, D. Enhanced Rabies Surveillance to Support Effective Oral Rabies Vaccination of Raccoons in the Eastern United States. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2, 34.

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