Rabies Vaccine Research — Important (Exciting) News!

Written by Jan on July 18, 2014 – 10:22 am

hyposThe Rabies Challenge Fund is your dog’s best hope of avoiding unnecessary rabies vaccination – thanks to Fund Founders Kris Christine and pioneering veterinarian Dr. W. Jean Dodds.  With principal investigation led by world-renowned vaccination scientist, Dr. Ronald Schultz, they have been working tirelessly using USDA protocols to prove that the vaccine gives protection for 5, then 7 years, instead of the current 3.

Perhaps even more importantly, they hope to determine a rabies titer standard so that a simple blood test can legally prove immunity. Because there hasn’t been a legal USDA titer standard, blood titer results have not been allowed for licensing purpose. They/we hope to change this.

Thanks to the generosity of dog lovers everywhere, this all-volunteer charitable endeavor is rounding the turn for the home stretch —  but the Fund needs your help to raise the money for the challenge. Two anonymous donors have announced a $12,500 gift to match donations dollar for dollar. Donations up to that amount will in effect be doubled.

I have long been a Friend of the Fund. My beloved Jiggy developed autoimmune liver disease, and ultimately liver and intestinal cancers, after rabies vaccination.  If you doubt the damage that can be done by this vaccine, read the heartbreaking stories at The Rabies Vaccine and Your Dog: Side Effects.

Please help us complete this great study. Thanks for any support you can give. – Jan Rasmusen

TWO IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS
from the Rabies Challenge Fund

CROSS POSTING URGED!

The Rabies Challenge Fund has just received the commitment from a USDA-approved facility to perform the first of the challenge phases of our 5 and 7-year studies. This rabies research was undertaken to determine, by challenge, the vaccine’s long-term duration of immunity in dogs and to establish the world’s first canine rabies titer standard.

Fees for this first challenge, slated to begin later this year, will involve 15 of the study dogs and will cost $100,000. If successful, two subsequent challenges of 15 dogs each will be conducted in order to meet the USDA rabies vaccine licensing requirements.  These results, which will have been obtained using the same federal standard upon which all currently licensed rabies vaccines and rabies laws and regulations are based, should establish the scientific foundation upon which the legally required rabies booster intervals for dogs can be extended to 5 or 7 years. Further, for the first time, our accumulated rabies titer data should permit incorporating clauses pertaining to rabies titers into the existing laws.

Currently, The Rabies Challenge Fund will need to raise an additional $24,847 to cover the challenge facility fees.  We ask that our donors maintain their generous levels of support through this critical challenge phase, so that the results to benefit all dogs can be available in early 2015.

$12,500 Matching Gift to The Rabies Challenge Fund

Two anonymous dog lovers have announced a generous $12,500 matching  gift to The Rabies Challenge Fund to help raise the additional funds needed to perform the first of the challenge phases of our research. Beginning today, these supporters will match every dollar donated up  to $12,500. Please consider doubling a donation by taking advantage of this charitable gift.

Tax-exempt donations can be made with a credit card here:
http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/donate/donate-to-the-fund or mailed to The Rabies Challenge Fund, c/o Hemopet, 11561 Salinaz
Avenue, Garden Grove, CA 92843.

Thank you for your support!

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Summary of The Rabies Challenge Fund Duration of Immunity Study
The Rabies Vaccine and Your Dog: Side Effects
Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely
Rabies Vaccination Caution: A Veterinarian Speaks Out
Rabies Vaccination Medical Exemptions for Unhealthy Dogs
AVMA Passes a Rabies Vaccination Waiver Recommendation
Does Your State Permit Rabies Vaccination Medical Exemptions?
Vaccination Reactions Can Mimic Disease Symptoms Rabies Vaccination: Caution! The Devil is in the Details

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Posted under Medical Exemptions from Rabies Shots, Rabies Shots, Titer Testing, Uncategorized, Vaccination | No Comments » | Email This Post

Summary of The Rabies Challenge Fund Duration of Immunity Study

Written by Jan on July 12, 2013 – 2:33 pm

I’m a great supporter of, and volunteer fundraiser for, the Rabies Challenge Fund.  Here are preliminary results of the current study.

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A study conducted according to the USDA Title 9 canine vaccine licensing standard, was begun more than five years ago. The purpose was to determine if the duration of immunity from commercially available rabies vaccines was longer than 3 years, with the goal of extending state-mandated rabies boosters for dogs to 5, and then 7 years.

The first rabies vaccine studied was selected based on the superior response it provided in the USDA challenge trials for licensing. Another licensed rabies vaccine was administered to a second, separate group of dogs 2 years after the first study began so that a minimum of two commercially available rabies vaccines would be tested.

The second vaccine selected is the one currently administered to a very high percentage of dogs. Both vaccines demonstrated excellent protection based on antibody testing for each of the first three study years. However, fewer than 30% of dogs in the first vaccine group, now five years since vaccination, had serum rabies antibody titer levels considered positive on the Rapid Fluorescent Focus Inhibition Test (RFFIT). (Note: RFFIT is the rabies titer standard established by the Centers for Disease Control within the USA [0.1 IU/mL] and the World Health Organization [0.5 IU/mL] for export to other rabies-free locations to be adequate to protect humans, not dogs, against rabies. There is no established standard for dogs, which means that the human standards must be extrapolated when assessing protection for other species.) Some of the dogs with low or no detected RFFIT antibody were further tested to determine if they had “immunologic memory”. This in vitro test shows whether memory is present or not, even in cases when serum antibody cannot be detected at a level considered to be protective. The results of this further testing indicated that most of the dogs vaccinated five years ago, even without a positive RFFIT, do have “immunologic memory”. As soon as a USDA licensed facility can be reserved, we plan to challenge some of those dogs with rabies virus to determine if the memory response demonstrated actually correlates with protection.

Our conclusion from studies with the initial rabies vaccine is that the immunity conferred by that product, and assessed by the in vitro RFFIT, was excellent for the first three years, but declined during the fourth year, and continued to drop during the fifth year. The second vaccine group, which is now three years from vaccination, will remain on study for at least two more years.

Principal Investigator, Dr. Ronald Schultz of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, is preparing results of the study and details described above for scientific peer review and publication. That data will be made available to the public as soon as our paper has been accepted for publication. After completion of the peer-review process, it is our hope that this data will establish the world’s first canine rabies titer standard. If this data is further verified by challenge, it will provide a solid scientific base enabling states to incorporate titer clauses into their laws.

Related Information:

The Rabies Vaccine and Your Dog: Side Effects
Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely
Rabies Vaccination Caution: A Veterinarian Speaks Out
Rabies Vaccination Medical Exemptions for Unhealthy Dogs
AVMA Passes a Rabies Vaccination Waiver Recommendation
Does Your State Permit Rabies Vaccination Medical Exemptions?
Vaccination Reactions Can Mimic Disease Symptoms Rabies Vaccination: Caution! The Devil is in the Details

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New In-Office Titer Test for Dogs: Test Before Revaccinating

Written by Jan on August 11, 2011 – 1:47 pm

 

In-Office Titer Test Kit

Blood antibody titer testing (a simple blood test) is the best way to determine if an animal or human has received immunity from vaccination.  (Just giving a vaccine proves only that you’ve given it, not that it worked.)

Testing your pup after her ”puppy shots” tells you if immunity was achieved, potentially eliminating unnecessary revaccination.  (Remember, every vaccine brings with it the potential for adverse reactions, ranging from a fever to even death.) Testing a new adult dog, or a dog with unknown vaccination history, helps determine if further vaccination is necessary and tells you which vaccines, if any, to give.  In the US, most experts recommend testing for parvovirus and distemper. Most other vaccines are either unnecessary in many areas or don’t confer immunity long enough to bother testing. At this time, titer testing is NOT a legal substitute for rabies vaccination.

If your vet doesn’t test titers as a routine matter before revaccinating, or if the cost is prohibitive, I hope you’ll tell your vet about a new inexpensive, quick in-office test.  I am writing about it for information purposes only hoping it will  help promote titer testing before routine revaccination.  I do not profit  financially from this new test.     — Jan

To learn more about testing titers, including how often to test and why it is often safer and less expensive than revaccinating, read my article about titer testing  Upcoming is a short article sent to me by Biogal, the maker of the new test, the Canine VacciCheck. Test kits are available for dogs, cats and birds. Read more »

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Titer Test: Don’t Vaccinate Your Dog Unnecessarily

Written by Jan on October 22, 2008 – 4:29 pm

Titer Testing: a Simple Blood Test

Titer Testing: a Simple Blood Test

Enlightened veterinarians and pet parents have become increasingly wary of the health risks, and lack of benefits, associated with repeatedly vaccinating dogs after their initial “puppy shots.” Is titer testing the solution to the over-vaccination problem? Here’s a crash course to help you muddle through the mire of misinformation surrounding this simple blood test, and to help you decide whether or not to test your dog’s antibody titers.

What is titer testing?A titer test (pronounced TIGHT er) is a laboratory test measuring the existence and level of antibodies to disease in blood. Antibodies are produced when an antigen (like a virus or bacteria) provokes a response from the immune system. This response can come from natural exposure or from vaccination. (Note: titering is also called serum vaccine antibody titering and serologic vaccine titering.)

How is the test performed? Your test result will have an explanation of what your pet’s test result means. But if you want to know more, here’s the test in a nutshell: First, one mL of blood is drawn. The sample is then diluted. Titer levels, expressed as ratios, indicate how many times blood can be diluted before no antibodies are detected. If blood can be diluted a 1000 times and still show antibodies, the ratio would be 1:1000. This is a “strong” titer. A titer of 1:2 would be weak.

Should I test for all diseases?The most recommended test examines antibodies for both parvovirus and distemper, the two most important viruses.Rabies titers are also often tested. Usually, for most dogs, tests for other diseases are generally not considered useful or necessary.

Why test? The parvovirus/distemper test can help you or others (vets, groomers, kennel owners, etc.) determine if your dog requires additional vaccination, and may save your dog unnecessary shots. It is especially useful when making a decision about vaccinating an animal with unknown vaccination history, or for determining if puppies have received immunity from vaccination (more below).

Most experts believe strong titers are a more reliable indication of immunity than vaccination: tests show the actual immune response, not just the attempt to cause an immune response by vaccination. Do not expect, however, that everyone will accept test results in place of proof of vaccination.The subject of immunity is complicated, and we are programmed to think of vaccination as “the gold standard” — the more, the better. Experts who challenge the status quo are often maligned. Humans don’t like change.

How often should I test titers for parvo and distemper? Read more »

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