Dogs account for the majority of human exposures and deaths due to rabies virus (RABV) worldwide. In this report, we show that a replication-deficient RABV-based vaccine in which the matrix gene is deleted (RABV-δM) is safe and induces rapid and potent VNA titers after a single inoculation in dogs. Average VNA titers peaked at 3.02 or 5.11 international units (IU/ml) by 14 days post-immunization with a single dose of 106 or 107 focus forming units (ffu), respectively, of RABV-δM. By day 70 post immunization, all dogs immunized with either dose of vaccine showed VNA titers >0.5IU/ml, the level indicative of a satisfactory immunization. Importantly, no systemic or local reactions were noted in any dog immunized with RABV-δM. The elimination of dog rabies through mass vaccination is hindered by limited resources, requirement for repeat vaccinations often for the life of a dog, and in some parts of the world, inferior vaccine quality. Our preliminary safety and immunogenicity data in dogs suggest that RABV-δM might complement currently used inactivated RABV-based vaccines in vaccination campaigns by helping to obtain 100% response in vaccinated dogs, thereby increasing overall vaccination coverage.
- Replication-deficient RABV