Veterinarski glasnik 2005 Volume 59, Issue 1-2, Pages: 89-98
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Experiences with rabies eradication programs
Hostnik Peter, Barlič-Maganja Darja, Grom Jože, Malovrh Tadej, Bidovec Andrej
Oral vaccination as a method of rabies eradication in the field was first started in Switzerland in 1978 and after 1984 several other EU countries followed this practice. Due to oral vaccination some European countries are now rabies-free in terrestrial animals. In Slovenia, after the first experimental oral vaccination and study of vaccination models from 1988 -1992, the spring-autumn campaigns have been carried out since 1995. The model of oral vaccination of wildlife requires 16-20 baits per km2 in the vaccination area. The baits were distributed by plane. They were dispersed from a height of 300-500 m. The aeroplanes' paths were 1000 metres apart. In the vaccination campaigns two vaccines were used. Lysvulpen®, produced by the Bioveta company at the Czech Republic, was laid down in the southwestern part of the country, and Fuchsoral®, produced by the German company Impfstoffwerk Dessau-Tornau, was placed in the eastern part of Slovenia. A rapid decline of rabies was evidenced from 1995 to 1999, when the oral vaccination program in the whole territory using the aircraft baits distributing system was practiced. In 1999, only 6 rabies cases were laboratory-confirmed, whereas in 1995, 1089 rabies cases were documented. Of the 14 rabies cases detected in 1998, 12 were found as an island in a circle with a radius of 30 km in the centre of the vaccinated area. In 2000 and 2001, rabies incidence increased again, so it was decided to change the baits distribution system in the year 2001. The vaccination by crossing flights in certain areas was introduced. In the next year (2002), after changing the vaccination strategy, positive cases rapidly dropped and only 15 cases in 2002, and 8 cases were found in 2003, near the non-vaccinated border with Croatia.
Keywords: rabies, eradication, Slovenia
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