Ferret badgers (Melogale moschata) are a major reservoir of rabies virus in southeastern China. Oral immunization has been shown to be a practical method for wildlife rabies management in Europe and North America. Two groups of 20 ferret badgers were given a single oral dose of a recombinant canine adenovirus-rabies vaccine, CAV-2-E3Δ-RGP, or an experimental attenuated rabies virus vaccine, SRV9. At 21 days, all ferret badgers had seroconverted, with serum virus-neutralizing antibodies ranging from 0.1 to 4.5 IU/mL. Titers were >0.50 IU/mL (an acceptable level) in 17/20 and 16/20 animals receiving CAV-2-E3Δ-RGP or SRV9, respectively. The serologic results indicate that the recombinant CAV-2-E3Δ-RGP is at least as effective as the attenuated rabies virus vaccine. Both may be considered for additional research as oral rabies vaccine candidates for ferret badgers.
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