Individual study: Vaccination success and body condition in the European wild rabbit: applications for conservation strategies
Cabezas S., Calvete C. & Moreno S. (2006) Vaccination success and body condition in the European wild rabbit: applications for conservation strategies. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 70, 1125-1131
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Use vaccination programme
A replicated, before-and-after study in 1999–2002 in Cadiz province, Spain (Cabexas et al. 2006) found that most vaccinated European wild rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus developed immunity to myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease. Of 32 rabbits which initially had no immunity to myxomatosis, 26 (81%) had developed immunity 2–4 weeks after vaccination. Of 81 rabbits which initially had no immunity to rabbit haemorrhagic disease , 68 (84%) had developed immunity 2–4 weeks after vaccination. The development of immunity did not differ between males and females, nor did it vary with time spent in captivity. Between November 1999 and March 2002, six groups of 14–46 wild-caught rabbits (some of which already had natural immunity to one or both diseases) were vaccinated against myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease with commercial vaccines, and held in captivity for two, three or four weeks. Blood samples were taken from each rabbit both before vaccination, and two days prior to release, to test for immunity to each disease.
(Summarised by Andrew Bladon)