Publications by authors named "Richard B Chipman"

31 Publications

Evidence of Arctic Fox Survival following Exposure to Rabies Virus.

J Wildl Dis 2021 Nov 23. Epub 2021 Nov 23.

US Department of Agriculture, National Wildlife Research Center, 4101 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, Colorado 80521, USA.

The arctic fox variant of the rabies virus (RABV) is enzootic in the circumpolar north. Reports of abortive RABV exposures motivated a retrospective analysis of sera from 41 arctic foxes captured at Karrak Lake in Nunavut, Canada, during 2011-2015. Estimated RABV antibody prevalence among foxes was 14% (95% confidence interval, 7-28%).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/JWD-D-21-00071DOI Listing
November 2021

Data-Driven Management-A Dynamic Occupancy Approach to Enhanced Rabies Surveillance Prioritization.

Viruses 2021 Sep 9;13(9). Epub 2021 Sep 9.

National Wildlife Research Center, Wildlife Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Fort Collins, CO 80521, USA.

Rabies lyssavirus (RABV) is enzootic in raccoons across the eastern United States. Intensive management of RABV by oral rabies vaccination (ORV) has prevented its spread westward and shown evidence of local elimination in raccoon populations of the northeastern US. The USDA, Wildlife Services, National Rabies Management Program (NRMP) collaborates with other agencies to implement broad-scale ORV and conducts extensive monitoring to measure the effectiveness of the management. Enhanced Rabies Surveillance (ERS) was initiated during 2005 and updated in 2016 to direct surveillance efforts toward higher-value specimens by assigning points to different methods of encountering specimens for collection (strange-acting, roadkill, surveillance-trapped, etc.; specimen point values ranged from 1 to 15). We used the 2016-2019 data to re-evaluate the point values using a dynamic occupancy model. Additionally, we used ERS data from 2012-2015 and 2016-2019 to examine the impact that the point system had on surveillance data. Implementation of a point system increased positivity rates among specimens by 64%, indicating a substantial increase in the efficiency of the ERS to detect wildlife rabies. Our re-evaluation found that most points accurately reflect the value of the surveillance specimens. The notable exception was that samples from animals found dead were considerably more valuable for rabies detection than originally considered (original points = 5, new points = 20). This work demonstrates how specimen prioritization strategies can be used to refine and improve ERS in support of wildlife rabies management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v13091795DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8472164PMC
September 2021

Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2019.

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2021 Jun;258(11):1205-1220

Objective: To provide epidemiological information on animal and human cases of rabies occurring in the United States during 2019 and summaries of 2019 rabies surveillance for Canada and Mexico.

Animals: All animals submitted for laboratory diagnosis of rabies in the United States during 2019.

Procedures: State and territorial public health departments and USDA Wildlife Services provided data on animals submitted for rabies testing in the United States during 2019. Data were analyzed temporally and geographically to assess trends in domestic and wildlife rabies cases.

Results: During 2019, 53 jurisdictions submitted 97,523 animal samples for rabies testing, of which 94,770 (97.2%) had a conclusive (positive or negative) test result. Of these, 4,690 tested positive for rabies, representing a 5.3% decrease from the 4,951 cases reported in 2018. Texas (n = 565 [12.0%]), New York (391 [8.3%]), Virginia (385 [8.2%]), North Carolina (315 [6.7%]), California (276 [5.9%]), and Maryland (269 [5.7%]) together accounted for almost half of all animal rabies cases reported in 2019. Of the total reported rabid animals, 4,305 (91.8%) were wildlife, with raccoons (n = 1,545 [32.9%]), bats (1,387 [29.6%]), skunks (915 [19.5%]), and foxes (361 [7.7%]) as the primary species confirmed with rabies. Rabid cats (n = 245 [5.2%]) and dogs (66 [1.4%]) accounted for > 80% of rabies cases involving domestic animals in 2019. No human rabies cases were reported in 2019.

Conclusions And Clinical Relevance: The overall number of animal rabies cases decreased from 2018 to 2019. Laboratory diagnosis of rabies in animals is critical to ensure that human rabies postexposure prophylaxis is administered judiciously.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/javma.258.11.1205DOI Listing
June 2021

Serological Responses of Raccoons and Striped Skunks to Ontario Rabies Vaccine Bait in West Virginia during 2012-2016.

Viruses 2021 01 22;13(2). Epub 2021 Jan 22.

USDA/APHIS/WS/National Rabies Management Program, 59 Chenell Dr., Concord, NH 03301, USA.

Since the 1990s, oral rabies vaccination (ORV) has been used successfully to halt the westward spread of the raccoon rabies virus (RV) variant from the eastern continental USA. Elimination of raccoon RV from the eastern USA has proven challenging across targeted raccoon () and striped skunk () populations impacted by raccoon RV. Field trial evaluations of the Ontario Rabies Vaccine Bait (ONRAB) were initiated to expand ORV products available to meet the rabies management goal of raccoon RV elimination. This study describes the continuation of a 2011 trial in West Virginia. Our objective was to evaluate raccoon and skunk response to ORV occurring in West Virginia for an additional two years (2012-2013) at 75 baits/km followed by three years (2014-2016) of evaluation at 300 baits/km. We measured the change in rabies virus-neutralizing antibody (RVNA) seroprevalence in targeted wildlife populations by comparing levels pre- and post-ORV during each year of study. The increase in bait density from 75/km to 300/km corresponded to an increase in average post-ORV seroprevalence for raccoon and skunk populations. Raccoon population RVNA levels increased from 53% (300/565, 95% CI: 50-57%) to 82.0% (596/727, 95% CI: 79-85%) during this study, and skunk population RVNA levels increased from 11% (8/72, 95% CI: 6-20%) to 39% (51/130, 95% CI: 31-48%). The RVNA seroprevalence pre-ORV demonstrated an increasing trend across study years for both bait densities and species, indicating that multiple years of ORV may be necessary to achieve and maintain RVNA seroprevalence in target wildlife populations for the control and elimination of raccoon RV in the eastern USA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v13020157DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7912576PMC
January 2021

Variation in host home range size decreases rabies vaccination effectiveness by increasing the spatial spread of rabies virus.

J Anim Ecol 2020 06 15;89(6):1375-1386. Epub 2020 Feb 15.

United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, CO, USA.

Animal movement influences the spatial spread of directly transmitted wildlife disease through host-host contact structure. Wildlife disease hosts vary in home range-associated foraging and social behaviours, which may increase the spread and intensity of disease outbreaks. The consequences of variation in host home range movement and space use on wildlife disease dynamics are poorly understood, but could help to predict disease spread and determine more effective disease management strategies. We developed a spatially explicit individual-based model to examine the effect of spatiotemporal variation in host home range size on the spatial spread rate, persistence and incidence of rabies virus (RABV) in raccoons (Procyon lotor). We tested the hypothesis that variation in home range size increases RABV spread and decreases vaccination effectiveness in host populations following pathogen invasion into a vaccination zone. We simulated raccoon demography and RABV dynamics across a range of magnitudes and variances in weekly home range size for raccoons. We examined how variable home range size influenced the relative effectiveness of three components of oral rabies vaccination (ORV) programmes targeting raccoons-timing and frequency of bait delivery, width of the ORV zone and proportion of hosts immunized. Variability in weekly home range size increased RABV spread rates by 1.2-fold to 5.2-fold compared to simulations that assumed a fixed home range size. More variable host home range sizes decreased relative vaccination effectiveness by 71% compared to less variable host home range sizes under conventional vaccination conditions. We found that vaccination timing was more influential for vaccination effectiveness than vaccination frequency or vaccination zone width. Our results suggest that variation in wildlife home range movement behaviour increases the spatial spread and incidence of RABV. Our vaccination results underscore the importance of prioritizing individual-level space use and movement data collection to understand wildlife disease dynamics and plan their effective control and elimination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.13176DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7317853PMC
June 2020

Public Veterinary Medicine: Public Health: Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2018.

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2020 01;256(2):195-208

Objective: To describe rabies and rabies-related events occurring during 2018 in the United States.

Animals: All animals submitted for laboratory diagnosis of rabies in the United States during 2018.

Procedures: State and territorial public health departments provided data on animals submitted for rabies testing in 2018. Data were analyzed temporally and geographically to assess trends in domestic animal and wildlife rabies cases.

Results: During 2018, 54 jurisdictions reported 4,951 rabid animals to the CDC, representing an 11.2% increase from the 4,454 rabid animals reported in 2017. Texas (n = 695 [14.0%]), Virginia (382 [7.7%]), Pennsylvania (356 [7.2%]), North Carolina (332 [6.7%]), Colorado (328 [6.6%]), and New York (320 [6.5%]) together accounted for almost half of all rabid animals reported in 2018. Of the total reported rabies cases, 4,589 (92.7%) involved wildlife, with bats (n = 1,635 [33.0%]), raccoons (1,499 [30.3%]), skunks (1,004 [20.3%]), and foxes (357 [7.2%]) being the major species. Rabid cats (n = 241 [4.9%]) and dogs (63 [1.3%]) accounted for > 80% of rabid domestic animals reported in 2018. There was a 4.6% increase in the number of samples submitted for testing in 2018, compared with the number submitted in 2017. Three human rabies deaths were reported in 2018, compared with 2 in 2017.

Conclusions And Clinical Relevance: The overall number of animal rabies cases increased from 2017 to 2018. Laboratory diagnosis of rabies in animals is critical to ensure that human rabies postexposure prophylaxis is administered judiciously.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/javma.256.2.195DOI Listing
January 2020

Evaluation of species identification and rabies virus characterization among bat rabies cases in the United States.

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2020 01;256(1):77-84

Objective: To evaluate species identification and rabies virus (RABV) characterization among samples from bats submitted for rabies testing in the United States and assess whether a standardized approach to specimen selection for RABV characterization could enhance detection of a sentinel event in virus dissemination among bats.

Sample: United States public health rabies surveillance system data collected in January 2010 through December 2015.

Procedures: The number of rabies-tested bats for which species was reported and the number of RABV-positive samples for which virus characterization would likely provide information regarding introduction of novel RABV variants and translocation and host-shift events were calculated. These specimens were designated as specimens of epizootiological importance (SEIs). Additionally, the estimated test load that public health laboratories could expect if all SEIs underwent RABV characterization was determined.

Results: Species was reported for 74,928 of 160,017 (47%) bats submitted for rabies testing. Identified SEIs were grouped in 3 subcategories, namely nonindigenous bats; bats in southern border states, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands; and bats of species that are not commonly found to be inflected with RABV. Annually, 692 (95% CI, 600 to 784) SEIs were identified, of which only 295 (95% CI, 148 to 442) underwent virus characterization. Virus characterization of all SEIs would be expected to increase public health laboratories' overall test load by 397 (95% CI, 287 to 506) samples each year.

Conclusions And Clinical Relevance: Species identification and RABV characterization may aid detection of a sentinel event in bat RABV dissemination. With additional resources, RABV characterization of all SEIs as a standardized approach to testing could contribute to knowledge of circulating bat RABV variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/javma.256.1.77DOI Listing
January 2020

Evaluation of rabies virus characterization to enhance early detection of important rabies epizootic events in the United States.

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2020 01;256(1):66-76

Objective: To evaluate rabies virus (RABV) characterization data obtained from animal specimens submitted to the US public health rabies surveillance system and propose a standardized approach to sample selection for RABV characterization that could enhance early detection of important rabies epizootic events in the United States.

Sample: United States public health rabies surveillance system data collected from January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2015.

Procedures: Data were reviewed to identify RABV-positive specimens for which virus characterization would likely provide information regarding any of 4 overarching events (discovery of novel variants, translocation of RABV variants, host-shift events, and any unusual rabies-related event) that could substantially alter animal rabies epizootiology in the United States. These specimens were designated as specimens of epizootiological importance (SEIs). Estimates of the additional number of specimens that public health laboratories could expect to process each year if all SEIs underwent RABV characterization were calculated.

Results: During the 6-year period, the mean annual number of SEIs was 855 (95% CI, 739 to 971); the mean number of SEIs that underwent virus characterization was 270 (95% CI, 187 to 353). Virus characterization of all SEIs would be expected to increase the public health laboratories' test load by approximately 585 (95% CI, 543 to 625) specimens/y.

Conclusions And Clinical Relevance: Prioritization of RABV characterization of SEIs may improve early detection of rabies events associated with RABV host shifts, variant translocations, and importation. Characterization of SEIs may help refine wildlife rabies management practices. Each public health laboratory should evaluate testing of SEIs to ensure diagnostic laboratory capacity is not overstretched.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/javma.256.1.66DOI Listing
January 2020

Placebo Oral Rabies Vaccine Bait Uptake by Small Indian Mongooses () in Southwestern Puerto Rico.

J Wildl Dis 2020 04 21;56(2):452-456. Epub 2019 Nov 21.

US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center, 4101 LaPorte Ave., Fort Collins, Colorado 80521, USA.

The small Indian mongoose () is a rabies reservoir in areas of the Caribbean including Puerto Rico, but no rabies vaccination program targeting this host exists. We used two derivatives of iophenoxic acid (IPA) to evaluate placebo oral rabies vaccine bait uptake by mongooses in southwestern Puerto Rico. We hand-distributed baits at an application rate of 200 baits/km at three, 400 ha, sites during autumn 2016 and spring 2017. Each site contained 90-100 cage traps in a 100 ha central trapping area. We used ethyl-IPA as a biological marker during the autumn and methyl-IPA during the spring. We live captured mongooses for 10 consecutive days, beginning 1 wk following bait application. We obtained a serum sample from captured mongooses and analyzed the sera for ethyl- and methyl-IPA by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. During autumn 2016, 63% (55/87) mongooses sampled were positive for ethyl-IPA. In spring 2017, 69% (85/123) of mongooses were positive for methyl-IPA. Pooling seasons, accounting for recaptures between years, and disregarding marker type, 74% (133/179) unique mongooses were positive for IPA biomarker, indicating bait consumption during either the autumn, spring, or both trials. We conclude that distributing baits at an application rate of 200 baits/km is sufficient to reach over 60% of the target mongoose population in dry forest habitats of Puerto Rico.
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April 2020

Rabies Surveillance Identifies Potential Risk Corridors and Enables Management Evaluation.

Viruses 2019 10 31;11(11). Epub 2019 Oct 31.

National Wildlife Research Center, United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, Fort Collins, CO 80521, USA.

Intensive efforts are being made to eliminate the raccoon variant of rabies virus (RABV) from the eastern United States and Canada. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services National Rabies Management Program has implemented enhanced rabies surveillance (ERS) to improve case detection across the extent of the raccoon oral rabies vaccination (ORV) management area. We evaluated ERS and public health surveillance data from 2006 to 2017 in three northeastern USA states using a dynamic occupancy modeling approach. Our objectives were to examine potential risk corridors for RABV incursion from the U.S. into Canada, evaluate the effectiveness of ORV management strategies, and identify surveillance gaps. ORV management has resulted in a decrease in RABV cases over time within vaccination zones (from ( ψ ¯ ) of 0.60 standard error (SE) = 0.03 in the spring of 2006 to ψ ¯ of 0.33 SE = 0.10 in the spring 2017). RABV cases also reduced in the enzootic area (from ψ ¯ of 0.60 SE = 0.03 in the spring of 2006 to ψ ¯ of 0.45 SE = 0.05 in the spring 2017). Although RABV occurrence was related to habitat type, greater impacts were associated with ORV and trap-vaccinate-release (TVR) campaigns, in addition to seasonal and yearly trends. Reductions in RABV occupancy were more pronounced in areas treated with Ontario Rabies Vaccine Bait (ONRAB) compared to RABORAL V-RG. Our approach tracked changes in RABV occurrence across space and time, identified risk corridors for potential incursions into Canada, and highlighted surveillance gaps, while evaluating the impacts of management actions. Using this approach, we are able to provide guidance for future RABV management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v11111006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6893774PMC
October 2019

Vital Signs: Trends in Human Rabies Deaths and Exposures - United States, 1938-2018.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019 Jun 14;68(23):524-528. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

Introduction: Each year, rabies causes approximately 59,000 deaths worldwide, including approximately two deaths in the United States. Before 1960, dogs were a common reservoir of rabies in the United States; however, increasingly, species of wildlife (e.g., bats, raccoons) are the main reservoirs. This report characterizes human rabies deaths, summarizes trends in rabies mortality, and highlights current rabies risks in the United States.

Methods: Rabies trends in the United States during 1938-2018 were analyzed using national rabies surveillance data. Data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project for 2006-2014 were used to estimate the number of postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) visits per 100,000 persons during 2017-2018. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' average sales price data were used to estimate PEP costs.

Results: From 1960 to 2018, a total of 125 human rabies cases were reported in the United States; 36 (28%) were attributed to dog bites during international travel. Among the 89 infections acquired in the United States, 62 (70%) were attributed to bats. In 2018, approximately 55,000 persons sought PEP after contact with a potentially rabid animal.

Conclusions And Comments: In the United States, wildlife rabies, especially in bats, continues to pose a risk to humans. Travelers also might be exposed to canine rabies in countries where the disease is still present; increased awareness of rabies while traveling abroad is needed. Vaccinating pets, avoiding contact with wildlife, and seeking medical care if one is bitten or scratched by an animal are the most effective ways to prevent rabies. Understanding the need for timely administration of PEP to prevent death is critical.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6823e1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6613553PMC
June 2019

Enhanced Rabies Surveillance Using a Direct Rapid Immunohistochemical Test.

J Vis Exp 2019 04 30(146). Epub 2019 Apr 30.

Lyssa LLC.

Laboratory-based surveillance is integral for rabies prevention, control and management efforts. While the DFA is the gold standard for rabies diagnosis, there is a need to validate additional diagnostic techniques to improve rabies surveillance, particularly in developing countries. Here, we present a standard protocol for the DRIT as an alternative, laboratory or field-based testing option that uses light microscopy as compared to the DFA. Touch impressions of brain tissue collected from suspect animals are fixed in 10% buffered formalin. The DRIT uses rabies virus-specific monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies (conjugated to biotin), a streptavidin-peroxidase enzyme, and a chromogen reporter (such as acetyl 3-amino-9-ethylcarbazole) to detect viral inclusions within infected tissue. In approximately 1 h, a brain tissue sample can be tested and interpreted by the DRIT. Evaluation of suspect animal brains tested from a variety of species in North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe have illustrated high sensitivity and specificity by the DRIT approaching 100% with results compared to DFA. Since 2005, the United States Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services (USDA WS) program has conducted large-scale enhanced rabies surveillance efforts using the DRIT to test >94,000 samples collected from wildlife in strategic rabies management areas. The DRIT provides a powerful, economical tool for rabies diagnosis that can be used by laboratorians and field biologists to improve current rabies surveillance, prevention and control programs globally.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/59416DOI Listing
April 2019

Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2017.

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2018 Dec;253(12):1555-1568

OBJECTIVE To describe rabies and rabies-related events occurring during 2017 in the United States. DESIGN Cross-sectional analysis of passive surveillance data. ANIMALS All animals submitted for laboratory diagnosis of rabies in the United States during 2017. PROCEDURES State and territorial public health departments provided data on animals submitted for rabies testing in 2017. Data were analyzed temporally and geographically to assess trends in domestic and sylvatic animal rabies cases. RESULTS During 2017, 52 jurisdictions reported 4,454 rabid animals to the CDC, representing a 9.3% decrease from the 4,910 rabid animals reported in 2016. Of the 4,454 cases of animal rabies, 4,055 (91.0%) involved wildlife species. Relative contributions by the major animal groups were as follows: 1,433 (32.2%) bats, 1,275 (28.6%) raccoons, 939 (21.1%) skunks, 314 (7.0%) foxes, 276 (6.2%) cats, 62 (1.4%) dogs, and 36 (0.8%) cattle. There was a 0.4% increase in the number of samples submitted for testing in 2017, compared with the number submitted in 2016. Two human rabies deaths were reported in 2017, compared with none in 2016. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The overall number of reported cases of animal rabies has decreased over time. Laboratory testing of animals suspected to be rabid remains a critical public health function and continues to be a cost-effective method to directly influence human rabies postexposure prophylaxis recommendations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/javma.253.12.1555DOI Listing
December 2018

RACCOON () RESPONSE TO ONTARIO RABIES VACCINE BAITS (ONRAB) IN ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, NEW YORK, USA.

J Wildl Dis 2019 07 8;55(3):645-653. Epub 2019 Jan 8.

2 US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Rabies Management Program, 59 Chenell Drive, Concord, New Hampshire 03301, USA.

Oral rabies vaccination (ORV) campaigns have been conducted annually in the US over the past two decades to prevent raccoon () rabies, which is enzootic along the eastern region of the country from southeastern Canada to Alabama. Because raccoon rabies has been eliminated from neighboring Canadian provinces, continued detection of the variant in the US is of concern due to the potential for infected raccoons to cross the border via the St. Lawrence River. Ontario Rabies Vaccine Baits (ONRAB) containing a live, recombinant human adenovirus expressing the rabies virus glycoprotein have been under experimental use in the US since 2011. We distributed ONRAB in St. Lawrence County, New York, from 2013 to 2015 as part of field trials to evaluate serologic responses in raccoons. Prior to ONRAB distribution, rabies virus neutralizing antibody (RVNA) seroprevalence in raccoons was 45.2% (183 of 405) and increased to 57.7% (165 of 286) after 3 yr of ONRAB baiting. Postbait RVNA seroprevalence increased each year, with a lower response observed in juvenile compared with adult raccoons. The pre-ONRAB seroprevalence detected in 2013 was relatively high and was likely impacted both by elevated rabies activity in the county and the use of ORV with a different vaccine bait for 14 consecutive years prior to our study. Tetracycline biomarker prevalence increased from 1.4% prior to ONRAB baiting to 51.3% from 2013 to 2015, demonstrating bait palatability to raccoons. These data complemented related field trials conducted in West Virginia and the northeastern US.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2018-09-216DOI Listing
July 2019

EFFECT OF HIGH-DENSITY ORAL RABIES VACCINE BAITING ON RABIES VIRUS NEUTRALIZING ANTIBODY RESPONSE IN RACCOONS ( PROCYON LOTOR).

J Wildl Dis 2019 04 3;55(2):399-409. Epub 2018 Dec 3.

3 US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Rabies Management Program, 59 Chenell Drive, Concord, New Hampshire 03301, USA.

From 2014 to 2016, we examined the effect of distributing oral rabies vaccine baits at high density (150 baits/km) in an area of Virginia, US that was naïve to oral rabies vaccination prior to the study. We also compared the effect of baiting at high density in a naïve area to baiting at standard density (75 baits/km) in an area that had been baited annually for 12 yr. Our results suggested that rabies virus seroconversion in raccoons ( Procyon lotor) gradually increased each year under the highdensity bait treatment. However, we did not detect a difference in seroconversion between bait density treatments. Virginia opossums ( Didelphis virginiana) were abundant in the study area and were a potentially important nontarget species that competed for oral rabies vaccine baits, but the ratio of opossums to raccoons in this study did not affect rabies virus neutralizing antibody response of the raccoon populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2018-05-138DOI Listing
April 2019

Translocation of a Stray Cat Infected with Rabies from North Carolina to a Terrestrial Rabies-Free County in Ohio, 2017.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018 Oct 26;67(42):1174-1177. Epub 2018 Oct 26.

On July 24, 2017, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) was notified of a positive rabies test result from a domestic cat in Summit County, a county considered free from terrestrial rabies. Oral rabies vaccination (ORV) of raccoons, in the form of consumable bait, is conducted each year along the Ohio-Pennsylvania border to prevent the westward expansion of the raccoon rabies virus variant (RVV). In the United States, several distinct rabies virus variants exist; raccoon RVV is enzootic along the eastern parts of the United States (from Florida to Maine), including several counties in northeast Ohio (1). Animal rabies vaccination is protective against all rabies virus variants. The rabid cat (cat A) was located west of the ORV barrier, raising concern that it had acquired the infection from a raccoon and suggesting a possible breach in the ORV barrier (Figure 1). ODH initiated an investigation to identify persons and animals exposed to the rabid cat during its viral shedding period and collaborated with CDC to determine the likely origin of the virus (Figure 2). Public health investigators later discovered that the cat originated in North Carolina. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that the virus was most similar to the raccoon RVV that circulates in North Carolina (Figure 3); therefore, this ORV breach was likely the result of human-mediated movement of a rabid animal rather than natural expansion of the raccoon rabies virus enzootic area. This report summarizes the investigation and highlights the importance of owner compliance regarding rabies vaccination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6742a2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6290815PMC
October 2018

Raccoon () biomarker and rabies antibody response to varying oral rabies vaccine bait densities in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Heliyon 2018 Sep 6;4(9):e00754. Epub 2018 Sep 6.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center, 4101 LaPorte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521, USA.

Distribution of oral rabies vaccine baits has been used as a strategy for managing rabies in the United States since the 1990s. Since that time, efforts have been made to improve baiting strategies with a focus on bait density to maximize both efficiency and cost effectiveness. An optimal rabies management strategy includes a vaccine bait preferred by the target species that is distributed at the minimal density needed to achieve population immunity to prevent rabies spread. The purpose of our pilot study was to examine the effect of 75, 150, and 300 baits/km vaccine bait densities on rabies virus neutralizing antibody (RVNA) seroprevalence in raccoons (). Raboral V-RG® fishmeal polymer baits (Merial Inc. (now a part of Boehringer Ingelheim), Athens, Georgia) contain a tetracycline biomarker that was used to estimate bait consumption as another measure of intervention impact. Our results suggest that raccoon RVNA response increases as bait density increases, but the effect may not be sufficient to justify the cost except in the case of contingency actions or an epizootic. Non-target species, especially opossums () in certain areas, should be considered when determining an appropriate bait density to ensure sufficient baits are available for consumption by the target species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2018.e00754DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6129686PMC
September 2018

FIELD TRIALS OF ONTARIO RABIES VACCINE BAIT IN THE NORTHEASTERN USA, 2012-14.

J Wildl Dis 2018 10 24;54(4):790-801. Epub 2018 May 24.

2   US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Rabies Management Program, 59 Chenell Dr., Concord, New Hampshire 03301, USA.

In the US, rabies virus (RV) has been enzootic in raccoons ( Procyon lotor) since the late 1940s. Oral rabies vaccination (ORV) was implemented in the 1990s to halt the spread of raccoon RV and continues to be used as a wildlife management tool. Our objective was to evaluate a recombinant human adenovirus-rabies virus glycoprotein vaccine in northern New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire over a 3-yr period, using changes in RV neutralizing antibody (RVNA) seroprevalence in raccoon populations as an immunologic index of ORV impact. Vaccine baits were distributed at 75 baits/km and 750-m flight-line spacing in the study area. Animal sampling occurred during 10-d intervals pre- and post-ORV during 2012-14 within eight study cells: four northern cells had a history of ORV with a different vaccine for 3 or more years prior and four southern cells were ORV naive. Baseline raccoon RVNA seroprevalence was 27.3% ( n=1,079, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 24.8-30.1) before ORV in 2012. Raccoon RVNA seroprevalence averaged 68.5% ( n=1,551, 95% CI: 66.2-70.8) post-ORV during the 3-yr study. The RVNA seroprevalence levels in this study were considered to be adequate for stopping raccoon RV transmission and supported and expanded the results from a West Virginia field trial, as well as earlier evaluations along the Canada-US border.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2017-09-242DOI Listing
October 2018

EVALUATION OF ORAL RABIES VACCINATION: PROTECTION AGAINST RABIES IN WILD CAUGHT RACCOONS ( PROCYON LOTOR).

J Wildl Dis 2018 07 29;54(3):520-527. Epub 2018 Mar 29.

2   United States Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services, 59 Chenell Dr., Concord, New Hampshire 03301, USA.

Oral rabies vaccination (ORV) is an effective tactic for wildlife rabies control, particularly for containment of disease spread along epizootic fronts. As part of the continuing evaluation of the ORV program in free-ranging raccoons ( Procyon lotor) in the US, 37 raccoons from ORV-baited areas in Pennsylvania were live-trapped and transferred to captivity to evaluate protection against rabies in animals with varying levels of existing neutralizing antibodies, expressed in international units per milliliter (IU/mL). Among the 37 raccoons at the date of capture, 24% (9/37) of raccoons were seronegative (<0.05 IU/mL), 22% (8/37) were low positive (≥0.05-0.11 IU/mL), 27% (10/37) were medium positive (>0.11-<0.5 IU/mL), and 27% (10/37) were high positive (≥0.5 IU/mL). Raccoons were held for 86-199 d between the date of capture and rabies virus challenge. At challenge, 68% (25/37) raccoons were seronegative. The overall survival rate among challenged animals was 46% (17/37). Based on the antibody titers at the time of challenge, survivorship was 24% (6/25) among seronegative animals, 100% (4/4) among low positive animals, 83% (5/6) among medium positive animals, and 100% (2/2) among high positive animals. Evidence of high-titer seroconversion after vaccination is a good surrogate indicator of rabies survival; however, survival rates of approximately 45% (15/35) were found among raccoons with detectable titers below 0.5 IU/mL. In contrast, any detectable titer at the time of challenge (>3 mo after vaccination) appeared to be a surrogate indicator of survival. Overall, we illustrated significant differences in the value of specific titers as surrogates for survival based on the timing of measurement relative to vaccination. However, survivorship was generally greater than 45% among animals with any detectable titer regardless of the timing of measurement. These findings suggest that lower titer cutoffs may represent a valid approach to measuring immunization coverage within ORV management zones, balancing both sensitivity and specificity for estimating herd immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2017-01-007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6035069PMC
July 2018

Modeling Raccoon (Procyon lotor) Habitat Connectivity to Identify Potential Corridors for Rabies Spread.

Trop Med Infect Dis 2017 Aug 28;2(3). Epub 2017 Aug 28.

Department of Earth Sciences, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Wildlife Services National Rabies Management Program has conducted cooperative oral rabies vaccination (ORV) programs since 1997. Understanding the eco-epidemiology of raccoon () variant rabies (raccoon rabies) is critical to successful management. Pine ( spp.)-dominated landscapes generally support low relative raccoon densities that may inhibit rabies spread. However, confounding landscape features, such as wetlands and human development, represent potentially elevated risk corridors for rabies spread, possibly imperiling enhanced rabies surveillance and ORV planning. Raccoon habitat suitability in pine-dominated landscapes in Massachusetts, Florida, and Alabama was modeled by the maximum entropy (Maxent) procedure using raccoon presence, and landscape and environmental data. Replicated ( = 100/state) bootstrapped Maxent models based on raccoon sampling locations from 2012⁻2014 indicated that soil type was the most influential variable in Alabama (permutation importance PI = 38.3), which, based on its relation to landcover type and resource distribution and abundance, was unsurprising. Precipitation (PI = 46.9) and temperature (PI = 52.1) were the most important variables in Massachusetts and Florida, but these possibly spurious results require further investigation. The Alabama Maxent probability surface map was ingested into Circuitscape for conductance visualizations of potential areas of habitat connectivity. Incorporating these and future results into raccoon rabies containment and elimination strategies could result in significant cost-savings for rabies management here and elsewhere.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed2030044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6082097PMC
August 2017

Evaluation of Bait Station Density for Oral Rabies Vaccination of Raccoons in Urban and Rural Habitats in Florida.

Trop Med Infect Dis 2017 Aug 22;2(3). Epub 2017 Aug 22.

United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Rabies Management Program, 59 Chenell Dr., Suite 2, Concord, NH 03301, USA.

Efforts to eliminate the raccoon variant of the rabies virus (raccoon rabies) in the eastern United States by USDA, APHIS, Wildlife Services and cooperators have included the distribution of oral rabies vaccine baits from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) bait stations in west-central Florida from 2009 to 2015. Achieving sufficient vaccine bait uptake among urban raccoons is problematic, given limitations on aerial and vehicle-based bait distribution for safety and other reasons. One or three bait stations/km² were deployed across four 9-km² sites within rural and urban sites in Pasco and Pinellas Counties, Florida. Based on tetracycline biomarker analysis, bait uptake was only significantly different among the urban (Pinellas County) high and low bait station densities in 2012 ( = 0.0133). Significant differences in RVNA were found between the two bait station densities for both urban 2011 and 2012 samples ( = 0.0054 and = 0.0031). Landscape differences in terms of urban structure and human population density may modify raccoon travel routes and behavior enough for these differences to emerge in highly urbanized Pinellas County, but not in rural Pasco County. The results suggest that, in urban settings, bait stations deployed at densities of >1/km² are likely to achieve higher seroprevalence as an index of population immunity critical to successful raccoon rabies control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed2030041DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6082109PMC
August 2017

Progress towards Bait Station Integration into Oral Rabies Vaccination Programs in the United States: Field Trials in Massachusetts and Florida.

Trop Med Infect Dis 2017 Aug 21;2(3). Epub 2017 Aug 21.

United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, 59 Chenell Dr., Suite 7, Concord, NH 03301, USA.

Bait stations for distribution of oral rabies vaccine baits are designed for rabies management in highly-developed areas where traditional distribution of oral rabies vaccine baits may be difficult. As part of national efforts to contain and eliminate the raccoon () variant of the rabies virus (raccoon rabies) in the eastern United States, the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services program, distributed vaccine baits by bait stations experimentally and operationally in Massachusetts during 2006-present, and in Florida during 2009⁻2015. In Massachusetts, a rabies virus-neutralizing antibody (RVNA) response of 42.1% for raccoons captured in areas baited with high density bait stations during 2011⁻2015 was achieved, compared with 46.2% in areas baited by hand, suggesting the continuation of this as a strategy for the oral rabies vaccination (ORV) program there, and for similar locations. Non-target competition for vaccine baits is problematic, regardless of distribution method. In Massachusetts, bait station visitation rates for targeted raccoons and non-target opossums () were similar (1.18:1) during 2006⁻2009 ( > 0.05). Bait station modifications for reducing non-target uptake were tested, and in Massachusetts, reduced non-target bait access was achieved with two design alternatives ( < 0.001). However, no difference was noted between the control and these two alternative designs in Florida. Due to ongoing trials of new vaccines and baits, the bait station performance of an adenovirus rabies glycoprotein recombinant vaccine bait, ONRAB bait (Artemis Technologies, Guelph, ON, Canada) and a vaccinia-rabies glycoprotein recombinant vaccine bait, RABORAL V-RGbait (Merial Limited, Athens, GA, USA), was compared. While uptake of the ONRAB bait was greater in Massachusetts ( < 0.001) in this limited trial, both types performed equally well in Florida. Since bait station tampering or theft as well as potential human bait contacts has been problematic, performance of camouflaged versus unpainted white bait stations was analyzed in terms of internal temperatures and maintaining a stable bait storage environment. In Massachusetts, camouflaged bait station interiors did not reach higher average temperatures than plain white bait stations in partially- or fully-shaded locations, while in Florida, camouflaged bait stations were significantly warmer in light exposure categories ( < 0.05). As ORV operations expand into more heavily-urbanized areas, bait stations will be increasingly important for vaccine bait distribution, and continued refinements in the strategy will be key to that success.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed2030040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6082100PMC
August 2017

Enhanced Rabies Surveillance to Support Effective Oral Rabies Vaccination of Raccoons in the Eastern United States.

Trop Med Infect Dis 2017 Jul 28;2(3). Epub 2017 Jul 28.

United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Rabies Management Program, Concord, NH 03301, USA.

Enhanced rabies surveillance (ERS) is essential for sound oral rabies vaccination (ORV) decisions to prevent the spread of specific rabies virus variants in meso-carnivores and to achieve disease elimination. Use of a direct rapid immunohistochemistry test (dRIT) in North America for timely, accurate rabies diagnosis in the field has facilitated greater ERS emphasis since 2005. ERS used in tandem with exposure-based public health surveillance provides a comprehensive understanding of the geographic distribution of rabies as an aid to formulate effective management strategies for raccoons and other meso-carnivores. In 2015, best management practices were implemented for improving, reinvigorating, and standardizing ERS. A point system for weighing ERS sample categories was evaluated, to determine whether sampling emphasis should be focused upon ill or strange-acting animals, the highest quality category. During 2016, 70.7% of rabid animals detected through ERS in raccoon rabies management states were obtained from strange-acting animals, followed by animals found dead (14.1%), road kills (9.1%), and nuisance-collected specimens (6.1%). Sample category weights may be adjusted based on additional evaluation to ensure continued emphasis on the highest value samples. High quality ERS, in conjunction with serologic evidence of population-based immunity, form the backbone for ORV decisions in the elimination of raccoon rabies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed2030034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6082093PMC
July 2017

Cost and Relative Value of Road Kill Surveys for Enhanced Rabies Surveillance in Raccoon Rabies Management.

Trop Med Infect Dis 2017 May 23;2(2). Epub 2017 May 23.

National Rabies Management Program, Wildlife Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 59 Chenell Drive, Suite 2, Concord, NH 03301, USA.

Oral rabies vaccination (ORV) requires knowledge of the spatial-temporal distribution of rabies virus variants targeted for control. Rabies-exposure based public health surveillance alone may not provide a sound basis for ORV decisions. The value and cost of road kill surveys was evaluated for the late spring⁻early fall 2005⁻2007 as a part of enhanced rabies surveillance in northern New York, where raccoon rabies is enzootic and ORV has occurred since the late 1990s. Structured surveys were conducted to collect raccoons and other meso-carnivores for rabies testing at the New York State Rabies Laboratory. Of the 209 meso-carnivore heads collected and submitted for testing, 175 were testable by direct fluorescent antibody; none was rabid. Rabies was also not reported through public health surveillance in survey zones during 2005⁻2007. Overall, survey costs were $37,118 (2016 USD). Salaries and benefits accounted for 61% of costs, followed by fuel (22%), vehicle depreciation (14%), and sample shipping (3%). Mean daily distance driven was 303 ± 37 km and 381 ± 28 km for total road kills and raccoons, respectively. Costs/road kill collected and submitted was $176/all species and $224/raccoon. This study provides costs for planning road kill surveys and underscores the need to continually improve enhanced rabies surveillance approaches to support ORV decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed2020013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6082077PMC
May 2017

Management and modeling approaches for controlling raccoon rabies: The road to elimination.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2017 03 16;11(3):e0005249. Epub 2017 Mar 16.

United States Department of Agriculture, National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, Colorado, United States of America.

Rabies is an ancient viral disease that significantly impacts human and animal health throughout the world. In the developing parts of the world, dog bites represent the highest risk of rabies infection to people, livestock, and other animals. However, in North America, where several rabies virus variants currently circulate in wildlife, human contact with the raccoon rabies variant leads to the highest per capita population administration of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) annually. Previous rabies variant elimination in raccoons (Canada), foxes (Europe), and dogs and coyotes (United States) demonstrates that elimination of the raccoon variant from the eastern US is feasible, given an understanding of rabies control costs and benefits and the availability of proper tools. Also critical is a cooperatively produced strategic plan that emphasizes collaborative rabies management among agencies and organizations at the landscape scale. Common management strategies, alone or as part of an integrated approach, include the following: oral rabies vaccination (ORV), trap-vaccinate-release (TVR), and local population reduction. As a complement, mathematical and statistical modeling approaches can guide intervention planning, such as through contact networks, circuit theory, individual-based modeling, and others, which can be used to better understand and predict rabies dynamics through simulated interactions among the host, virus, environment, and control strategy. Strategies derived from this ecological lens can then be optimized to produce a management plan that balances the ecological needs and program financial resources. This paper discusses the management and modeling strategies that are currently used, or have been used in the past, and provides a platform of options for consideration while developing raccoon rabies virus elimination strategies in the US.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0005249DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5354248PMC
March 2017

Safety and immunogenicity of Ontario Rabies Vaccine Bait (ONRAB) in the first us field trial in raccoons (Procyon lotor).

J Wildl Dis 2014 Jul 7;50(3):582-95. Epub 2014 May 7.

1  US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Rabies Management Program, 59 Chenell Drive, Concord, New Hampshire 03301, USA.

In 2011, we conducted a field trial in rural West Virginia, USA to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of a live, recombinant human adenovirus (AdRG1.3) rabies virus glycoprotein vaccine (Ontario Rabies Vaccine Bait; ONRAB) in wild raccoons (Procyon lotor) and striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis). We selected ONRAB for evaluation because of its effectiveness in raccoon rabies management in Ontario and Quebec, Canada, and significantly higher antibody prevalence rates in raccoons compared with a recombinant vaccinia-rabies glycoprotein (V-RG) vaccine, Raboral V-RG®, in US-Canada border studies. Raccoon rabies was enzootic and oral rabies vaccination (ORV) had never been used in the study area. We distributed 79,027 ONRAB baits at 75 baits/km(2) mostly by fixed-wing aircraft along parallel flight lines at 750-m intervals. Antibody prevalence was significantly higher at 49.2% (n=262) in raccoons after ONRAB was distributed than the 9.6% (n=395) before ORV. This was the highest antibody prevalence observed in raccoons by US Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services for areas with similar management histories evaluated before and after an initial ORV campaign at 75 baits/km(2) with Raboral V-RG. Tetracycline biomarker (TTCC) was significantly higher among antibody-positive raccoons after ONRAB baiting and was similar among raccoons before ORV had been conducted, an indication of vaccine-induced rabies virus-neutralizing antibody production following consumption of bait containing TTCC. Skunk sample size was inadequate to assess ONRAB effects. Safety and immunogenicity results supported replication of this field trial and led to a recommendation for expanded field trials in 2012 to evaluate safety and immunogenicity of ground-distributed ONRAB at 150 baits/km(2) in residential and commercial habitats in Ohio, USA and aerially distributed ONRAB at 75 baits/km(2) in rural habitats along US-Quebec border.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2013-08-207DOI Listing
July 2014

Costs of raccoon rabies incidents in cattle herds in Hampshire County, West Virginia, and Guernsey County, Ohio.

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2013 Dec;243(11):1561-7

USDA, APHIS, Wildlife Services, National Rabies Management Program, 59 Chenell Dr, Ste 2, Concord, NH 03301.

Objective: To determine direct and indirect costs associated with raccoon rabies incidents involving cattle herds in Hampshire County, WV, in 2008 and Guernsey County, Ohio, in 2010.

Design: Ex post cost analysis.

Animals: 1 cattle herd in Hampshire County, WV, in 2008 and 1 cattle herd in Guernsey County, Ohio, in 2010.

Procedures: Data were collected for each incident through telephone and email interviews with 16 federal, state, and county agency personnel involved in the case investigations and coordinated responses for rabies in the cattle herds. To characterize the economic impact associated with rabies in the 2 cattle herds, cost analysis was conducted with 7 cost variables (salary and benefits for personnel involved in the response, human postexposure prophylaxis, indirect patient costs, rabies diagnostic testing, cattle carcass disposal, market value of euthanized cattle, and enhanced rabies surveillance). Estimates of direct costs were determined on the basis of agency records and other relevant data obtained from notes and reports made by agency staff at the time of the incident and from a review of the literature.

Results: Primary costs included the market value of euthanized cattle ($51,461 in West Virginia; $12,561 in Ohio), human postexposure prophylaxis ($17,959 in West Virginia; $11,297 in Ohio), and salary and benefits for personnel involved in the response ($19,792 in West Virginia; $14,496 in Ohio).

Conclusions And Clinical Relevance: These results should provide a basis for better characterization of the economic impact of wildlife rabies in cattle in the United States.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2460/javma.243.11.1561DOI Listing
December 2013

Oral rabies vaccination variation in tetracycline biomarking among Ohio raccoons.

J Wildl Dis 2013 Apr;49(2):332-7

USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services, National Rabies Management Program, Concord, NH 03301, USA.

Oral rabies vaccination (ORV) programs have traditionally relied on tetracycline marking as an index to bait uptake. Whether tetracycline serves well in this capacity depends on its deposition affinity and ability to be detected consistently among tissues selected for analysis from target species. We evaluated samples from 760 hunter-harvested raccoons (Procyon lotor) from areas in Ohio where ORV had been conducted during 1998, 1999, and 2001. Tetracycline marking was evaluated within and among first premolar (PM1), second premolar (PM2), and canine (CN) teeth, and mandibular bone (MB) by side (left versus right); and by tissue type. Tetracycline detection ranged from 6.5% in PM1 in 1998 to 56.3% in right-side MB in 2001. PM1 teeth were less frequently marked (21.7%) than PM2 (27.7%), CN (33.0%), or MB (42.0%). Tetracycline detection was similar in left and right PM1, PM2, and CN teeth, but differed in MB. Tetracycline marking was significantly different among all tissue types.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2011-11-327DOI Listing
April 2013

Oral rabies vaccination in north america: opportunities, complexities, and challenges.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2009 Dec 22;3(12):e549. Epub 2009 Dec 22.

USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services, National Rabies Management Program, Concord, New Hampshire, USA.

Steps to facilitate inter-jurisdictional collaboration nationally and continentally have been critical for implementing and conducting coordinated wildlife rabies management programs that rely heavily on oral rabies vaccination (ORV). Formation of a national rabies management team has been pivotal for coordinated ORV programs in the United States of America. The signing of the North American Rabies Management Plan extended a collaborative framework for coordination of surveillance, control, and research in border areas among Canada, Mexico, and the US. Advances in enhanced surveillance have facilitated sampling of greater scope and intensity near ORV zones for improved rabies management decision-making in real time. The value of enhanced surveillance as a complement to public health surveillance was best illustrated in Ohio during 2007, where 19 rabies cases were detected that were critical for the formulation of focused contingency actions for controlling rabies in this strategically key area. Diverse complexities and challenges are commonplace when applying ORV to control rabies in wild meso-carnivores. Nevertheless, intervention has resulted in notable successes, including the elimination of an arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) rabies virus variant in most of southern Ontario, Canada, with ancillary benefits of elimination extending into Quebec and the northeastern US. Progress continues with ORV toward preventing the spread and working toward elimination of a unique variant of gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) rabies in west central Texas. Elimination of rabies in coyotes (Canis latrans) through ORV contributed to the US being declared free of canine rabies in 2007. Raccoon (Procyon lotor) rabies control continues to present the greatest challenges among meso-carnivore rabies reservoirs, yet to date intervention has prevented this variant from gaining a broad geographic foothold beyond ORV zones designed to prevent its spread from the eastern US. Progress continues toward the development and testing of new bait-vaccine combinations that increase the chance for improved delivery and performance in the diverse meso-carnivore rabies reservoir complex in the US.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0000549DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2791170PMC
December 2009

Status of oral rabies vaccination in wild carnivores in the United States.

Virus Res 2005 Jul 21;111(1):68-76. Epub 2005 Apr 21.

USDA, APHIS, Wildlife Services, 59 Chenell Drive, Suite 7, Concord, NH 03301, USA.

Persistence of multiple variants of rabies virus in wild Chiroptera and Carnivora presents a continuing challenge to medical, veterinary and wildlife management professionals. Oral rabies vaccination (ORV) targeting specific Carnivora species has emerged as an integral adjunct to conventional rabies control strategies to protect humans and domestic animals. ORV has been applied with progress toward eliminating rabies in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in western Europe and southern Ontario, Canada. More recently since 1995, coordinated ORV was implemented among eastern states in the U.S.A. to prevent spread of raccoon (Procyon lotor) rabies and to contain and eliminate variants of rabies virus in the gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) and coyote (Canis latrans) in Texas. In this paper, we describe the current cooperative ORV program in the U.S.A. and discuss the importance of coordination of surveillance and rabies control programs in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.A. Specifically, several priorities have been identified for these programs to succeed, which include additional oral vaccines, improved baits to reach target species, optimized ORV strategies, effective communication and legal strategies to limit translocation across ORV barriers, and access to sufficient long-term funding. These key priorities must be addressed to ensure that ORV has the optimal chance of achieving long range programmatic goals of eliminating specific variants of rabies virus in North American terrestrial carnivores.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2005.03.012DOI Listing
July 2005
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