Simplified Rabies Vaccine Regimen is Immunogenic

Four-site intradermal regimen may have practical advantages, especially in developing countries

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- A new simplified and economical four-site intradermal postexposure rabies vaccine regimen is as immunogenic as other regimens and may be more suitable for use in developing countries, according to a study published in the April issue of PLoS -- Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Mary J. Warrell of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and colleagues randomly assigned 254 healthy British volunteers ages 18 to 50 to receive purified vero cell rabies vaccine in one of four regimens: the currently accepted two-site intradermal regimen, the eight-site intradermal regimen, the new four-site intradermal regimen or the standard five-dose intramuscular regimen.

The researchers found that the four-site intradermal regimen was as immunogenic as the other regimens. They concluded that it was more practical than the two-site regimen because it required fewer clinic visits and had a wider margin of safety and also that it was more convenient than the eight-site method.

"The 4-site regimen has several practical advantages over both currently used regimens, and is the most economical since only three or four clinic visits are needed (on days 0, 7 and 28 with optional day 90)," the authors write. "Our finding that ID (intradermal) regimens were at least as immunogenic as the 'gold standard' 5 dose IM (intramuscular) regimen should increase confidence in multiple-site ID techniques. The 4-site regimen is suitable for use anywhere in the world where there are financial constraints."

The vaccines for the study were given by Sanofi Pasteur. Several authors report relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

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