Impact of rabies vaccination history on attainment of an adequate antibody titre among dogs tested for international travel certification, Israel - 2010-2014.
Rabies is endemic in wildlife or domestic carnivore populations globally. Infection of domestic dogs is of particular concern in many areas. In regions where domestic animals are at risk of exposure to rabies virus, dogs should be routinely vaccinated against rabies to protect both pet and human populations. Many countries require demonstration of an adequate level of serum rabies neutralizing antibodies to permit entry of dogs during international travel. We analysed rabies titres of dogs seeking travel certification in Israel to assess demographic and vaccine history factors associated with antibody titres below the acceptable threshold for travel certification. Having received only one previous rabies vaccination and a longer duration since the most recent vaccination was received were primary risk factors for not achieving an adequate rabies virus neutralizing antibody titre for travel certification. These risk factors had stronger effects in younger animals, but were consistent for dogs of all ages. In particular, these findings reiterate the importance of administering at least two rabies vaccinations (the primo vaccination and subsequent booster) to ensure population-level protection against rabies in dogs globally.