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Friday, November 24, 2017

The new canine rabies research: One vaccine to save them all.

The new canine rabies research: One vaccine to save them all.A new study finds that rabies vaccines may have a protective effect beyond just the dreaded deadly virus in dogs. Canine rabies is common in many parts of the world. In Asia and Africa, rabies from dog bites kills more than 50,000 people each year. Large international efforts are dedicated to this public health crisis, including mass rabies vaccination of dogs. A recent publication suggests the canine rabies vaccine may have additional benefits to dog health beyond protection from rabies. That’s right—vaccinate for rabies, get rabies protection PLUS additional dog health benefits.
The study followed 2,500 households in South Africa over four years and found that dogs vaccinated for rabies had a reduced risk of canine death from any cause as compared to dogs not vaccinated for rabies. The greatest reduction was noted in very young dogs with a 56% reduced risk of death. This decrease in canine mortality was not explained by a reduction in deaths due to rabies alone. The researchers proposed that rabies vaccination boosted the immune system and may have provided enhanced defense against other diseases unrelated to rabies. Previous studies have similarly identified this nonspecific protective effect by rabies vaccination in children and animals, providing further support for the research team’s current findings.

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