A model baiting system suitable for the delivery of an oral rabies vaccine to free-ranging raccoons (Procyon lotor) was developed and tested on barrier islands in South Carolina (USA). Features of barrier island physiography and ecology were studied relative to selective bait deployment and site biosecurity. Capture-mark-recapture data were obtained from 228 raccoons. Raccoon density estimates, using a modified census assessment technique, were one raccoon per 1.8 to 2.7 ha. Mean (±SE) and range home area estimates of radio-collared raccoons were 84 (±15.6) ha (27 to 176 ha) by a minimum convex polygon method and 138 (±22.8) ha (43 to 241 ha), by a harmonic mean transformation method. Habitat utilization determinations of radio-collared raccoons were conducted to identify study areas to potentially maximize selectivity of bait towards raccoons and to reduce the absolute number of baits deployed. Island raccoons showed a habitat preference for maritime forest, maritime shrub and marsh areas. Additionally, there was no evidence of inter-island or mainland exchange of ear-tagged or radio-collared raccoons. A disease and mortality survey was conducted to identify baseline pathology and incidental lesions in the target raccoon population, prior to actual vaccination initiation. Thirty-eight percent of 30 clinically suspect raccoons sampled had intracytoplasmic eosinophilic inclusions diagnostic of canine distemper; no other lesions suggestive of viral etiologies were found. Serological surveys for raccoon poxvirus and rabies virus antibodies were negative. Antibody titers to canine adenovirus 1 and 2 indicated a moderate level of exposure (approximately 10 to 16%) in the raccoon population. Overall, 93 to 100% of placebo baits were consistently disturbed by 7 days post-bait deployment, and bait acceptance rates by raccoons ranged from 49 to 85%, by using a modular systems approach to select the optimum combination of bait attractant, biomarker, matrix, density, and distribution. These results suggest that a large proportion (up to 85%) of a free-ranging island raccoon population can be selectively and safely targeted, marked and monitored utilizing a proposed oral bait delivery system for recombinant or other rabies vaccines.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 28 • No. 1