During August 2006 and 2007, baits containing oral rabies vaccine, live adenovirus vector, known as ONRAB®, were aerially distributed in SW Ontario, Canada. Bait acceptance during 2006 was 62 and 74% in raccoons (Procyon lotor) in areas baited at 150 baits/km2 and 75 and 77% in plots baited at 300 baits/km2. During 2007, bait acceptance for raccoons ranged between 59% and 80%, and 83% and 87%, in areas baited at 75 and 400 baits/km2, respectively. Bait acceptance by skunks varied among plots (5–24%). Rabies virus-specific seroconversion during 2006 averaged 66 and 81% in raccoons in areas baited at 150 and 300 baits/km2, respectively. During 2007, seroconversion by raccoons was 76 and 84% in areas baited at 75 and 400 baits/km2, respectively. Seroconversion by skunks varied among plots (17–51%). Vaccine efficacy, as judged by the percentage of animals that consumed a bait and seroconverted, averaged 79 and 87% during 2006 for raccoons in areas baited at 150 and 300 baits/km2, respectively, and 81 and 90% in areas baited during 2007 at 75 and 400 baits/km2, respectively. Because tetracycline marking was poor in skunks, an estimate of vaccine efficacy was not possible. Aerial distribution of ONRAB® vaccine baits seems to be a feasible tactic for controlling rabies in skunks and raccoons.
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Vol. 45 • No. 2