Vaccines — Open Access Journal
(Accessed 22 Jun 2019)
New Rabies Vaccines for Use in Humans
Hildegund C. J. Ertl
The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Received: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 20 June 2019
Although vaccines are available, rabies still claims more than 55,000 human lives each year. In most cases, rabies vaccines are given to humans after their exposure to a rabid animal; pre-exposure vaccination is largely reserved for humans at high risk for contacts with the virus. Most cases of human rabies are transmitted by dogs. Dog rabies control by mass canine vaccination campaigns combined with intensive surveillance programs has led to a decline of human rabies in many countries but has been unsuccessful in others. Animal vaccination programs are also not suited to control human rabies caused by bat transmission, which is common in some Central American countries. Alternatively, or in addition, more widespread pre-exposure vaccination, especially in highly endemic remote areas, could be implemented. With the multiple dose regimens of current vaccines, pre-exposure vaccination is not cost effective for most countries and this warrants the development of new rabies vaccines, which are as safe as current vaccines, but achieve protective immunity after a single dose, and most importantly, are less costly. This chapter discusses novel rabies vaccines that are in late stage pre-clinical testing or have undergone clinical testing and their potential for replacing current vaccines.