The blood-containing fluids in the thoracic cavity or blood from the heart from 177 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Slovenia were evaluated for rabies antibodies by rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test (RFFIT) and an adapted indirect immunofluorescent test (IIF) in 1994. We evaluated the usefulness of anti-dog fluorescein-isothiocyanate (FITC) conjugate instead of anti-fox FITC conjugate in detection of antibodies against rabies virus in fox sera. In the RFFIT test, 92 (52%) of the fox samples were positive and 70 (40%) samples were negative for rabies antibodies; 15 (8.5%) samples were not suitable for examination in this test. In the IIF test, 98 (55%) fox samples were positive and 79 (45%) sera were negative. The IIF test was suitable for the rapid detection of antibodies against rabies virus in foxes, as often required for vaccine efficacy trials.
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Vol. 33 • No. 1