м. Київ, вул. Васильківська, 28
Study of the titer of antibodies after vaccination against rabies

Study of the titer of antibodies in the blood serum of dogs and cats to the pathogen of rabies after vaccination

If you are going to transport an animal outside of Ukraine, you must know the rules for entering another country. Conventionally, in relation to rabies, all countries can be divided into 3 categories:

  1. countries affected by rabies (Ukraine);
  2. countries with a stable situation;
  3. rabies free countries.

Rabies-free countries include: Sweden, Malta. Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain and other island states. In these countries, rabies of the 1st genotype is not registered. In rabies-free countries, there are certain quarantine requirements for the transport of animals (and, since the rules change often, it is better to check with the embassy or consulate of the country where you are traveling to clarify the requirements for importing animals).

Quarantine sanctions are not applied to other EU countries with a stable rabies condition in the presence of a standard package of documents for an anti-rabies certificate. In order to standardize the rules for transporting animals, the European Parliament on May 26, 2003 adopted a decree, one of the mandatory points of which is the availability of an anti-rabies certificate for an animal when entering the territory of countries free of rabies, or countries with a stable situation of rabies.

The only reliable method for specific prevention of rabies is immunization with a quality inactivated rabies vaccine. One of the indicators of the effectiveness of the vaccines used is the level of the titer of neutralizing antibodies in vaccinated animals (the level of population anti-rabies immunity). So how do you know if your patient is protected after rabies vaccination? The fact is that the anti-rabies protection limit is 0.50 IU / ml. If the antibody level is less than 0.50 IU / ml, then the animal must be re-vaccinated against rabies and, 30 days after vaccination, re-check the increase in the antibody titer. There are certain factors that affect the formation of specific antibodies after vaccination, namely: breed, species, age, frequency of rabies vaccination, and the like. Therefore, monitoring the antibody titer in an animal after rabies vaccination is extremely important.

To date, officially, there are two methods for assessing the level of anti-rabies antibodies proposed by WHO – these are RFFIT and FAVN.

  • RFFIT (Rapid Fluorescent Focus Inhibitiontest, Smithetal. 1973 Zalan etal., 1975) is a test of rapid inhibition of the focus of fluorescence.
  • FAVN (Fluorescent Antibody Virus Neutralisationtest, Cliqu et al., 1996) is a fluorescent virus neutralizing antibody test. It allows the most accurate, quantitative determination of the titer of anti-rabies antibodies in IU / ml.

Both methods are performed on a living cell culture with the introduction of the rabies virus into the reaction. By themselves, these tests are rather laborious and require expensive equipment and qualified specialists.

In the European Union, studies to detect antibodies in the blood serum of dogs and cats to rabies pathogen after vaccination require the FAVN method (Fluorescent Antibody Virus Neutralisationtest).

This test is carried out in laboratories recognized by the European Union. The list of such laboratories is on the website: https://ec.europa.eu/food/animals/pet-movement/approved-labs_en

When examining the titer of antibodies of animals with rabies, a certificate of an international standard of a certified laboratory is issued.

Find out the conditions for transporting an animal across the border yourself on the website of the European Commission.

From January 1, 2012, according to the requirements of the European Union, the animal will be able to cross the border at least 3 months after the date of blood sampling for the analysis of the antibody titer for rabies.

The laboratory is not responsible for untimely completed documents in accordance with this requirement.

If the country of origin of the animal is an EU country and the fluorescent virus neutralizing antibody test was done before leaving the EU, then there is no need to wait 3 months after taking blood to return to the EU. When transporting an animal, the owner must have an animal passport, which contains the appropriate vaccination records, studies and the results of these tests.