Large-scale eradication of rabies using recombinant vaccinia-rabies vaccine

  • Published source details Brochier B., Kieny M.P., Costy F., Coppens P., Bauduin B., Lecocq J.P., Languet B., Chappuis G., Desmettre P., Afiademanyo K., Libois R. & Pastoret P.-. (1991) Large-scale eradication of rabies using recombinant vaccinia-rabies vaccine. Nature, 354, 520–522.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use vaccination programme

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Use vaccination programme

    A study in 1989–1991 in a rural region of Luxembourg, southern Belgium (Brochier et al. 1991) found that vaccinating red foxes Vulpes vulpes against rabies reduced the occurrence of rabies. After one vaccination attempt, six out of nine (67%) rabid and 11 of 14 (79%) healthy foxes tested had consumed the bait. After the second attempt, 25 of 31 (81%) adult foxes and 27 of 55 (49%) juvenile foxes tested had consumed bait, and all 86 were healthy. After the third vaccination phase, 64 of 79 (81%) foxes had consumed bait and only one tested positive for rabies (authors note that it was found at the edge of the vaccination area, and had not taken bait). Additionally, the number of cases of rabies reported in livestock every six months fell from 7–61 before the second vaccination attempt (January 1985–June 1990) to zero in the year afterwards (reporting of rabies in livestock is mandatory in Belgium). In November 1989, April 1990 and October 1990, a total of 25,000 field vaccine-baits containing VVTGgRAB and a tetracycline biomarker were dropped by helicopter across a 2,200 km2 area at a density of 15/km (excluding urban areas). After each vaccination period (January–March 1990, April–October 1990, November 1990–April 1991) a total of 188 foxes which were found dead or shot by hunters were tested for both rabies and the presence of tetracycline (which would indicate that they had consumed the bait).

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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