Stray dogs in Bangkok, Thailand: rabies virus infection and rabies antibody prevalence

S Kasempimolporn, B Sichanasai, W Saengseesom, S Puempumpanich, V Sitprija
Developments in Biologicals 2008, 131: 137-43
In Thailand, the animal most reported rabid is the stray dog. Dog bite related rabies cases in humans account for 70-95% of rabies related deaths. The reported incidence of dog bites is highest in the central part of the country, especially in Bangkok. This epidemiological survey shows that at least five different canine rabies virus types are present in Bangkok. Rabies antigen and antibody prevalence in stray dogs in Bangkok was also investigated. Saliva and serum samples were taken from 3,314 stray dogs, captured between December 2003 and June 2004. One two year-old female was antigen positive by latex agglutination test and the result was confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The overall antibody seroprevalence by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was 62% (95% CI: 54, 70%). Antibody seroprevalence was higherfor dogs captured within central Bangkok (86% of 1,208 dogs captured) than in the dogs captured on the outskirts of the greater metropolitan area (49% of 2,106 dogs captured). If our sample of stray dogs is representative, then the seroprevalence achieved from previous vaccination campaigns is insufficient in order to break the rabies transmission cycle among stray and feral dogs.

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