Between August 1993 and September 1994 we documented serological responses of coyotes (Canis latrans) vaccinated with two commercial rabies vaccines licensed for use in domestic dogs. Serologic responses were documented by testing for rabies virus neutralizing antibodies with the rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test (RFFIT) at 30, 90, 180, 270, and 365 days post-vaccination. All coyotes vaccinated with Imrab 3® (Rhone-Merieux, Inc.), and 75% of those vaccinated with Dura-Rab 3® (Immunovet, Inc.) seroconverted, as evidenced by the presence of antirabies antibody titers ≥1:5 in one or more of the five post-vaccination samples. The percent of coyotes showing a titer ≥1:5 was generally greater and titer levels appeared higher and more persistent among animals vaccinated with Imrab 3® than Dura-Rab 3®. Presence of titers via RFFIT tests demonstrates the antibodies produced in coyotes by these rabies vaccines functionally bind and neutralize rabies virus in vitro, but these results do not constitute a demonstration of protection required for licensure for use in coyotes.
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Vol. 37 • No. 4