Simplified, cheaper rabies vaccine developed

April 23rd, 2008 - 1:27 pm ICT by admin  

London, April 23 (IANS) Researchers who have conducted trials of a simplified and cheaper method of administering rabies vaccine feel that it would be a boon in developing countries where it is an expensive option. Mary Warrell and other researchers of the University of Oxford who conducted the trial said the simplified method requires fewer visits to clinic, is more practical and acceptable, and has a wider margin of safety, especially in inexperienced hands.

All deaths from rabies result from failure to follow required procedures. After a rabid animal bite, immediate wound cleaning, rabies vaccine and injections of anti-rabies antibody effectively prevent fatal infection.

But anti-rabies vaccine is very rarely available in developing countries. The vaccines currently approved by World Health Organisation (WHO), which are usually injected into the muscle, are prohibitively expensive.

In developing countries, the average cost of an intra-muscular course is equivalent to 50 days’ wages.

Warrell and colleagues therefore set out to test a new, similar simplified regimen, involving injections at four sites on the first day.

The researchers concluded that the results provide sufficient evidence that the simplified four-site regimen now meets all the criteria necessary for its recommendation for use wherever the cost of vaccine is prohibitive.

The trial has been published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

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