Influence of different factors on the costs and benefits of oral vaccination of foxes against rabies.
The oral rabies vaccination (ORV) programme is the most widespread vaccination programme that is implemented in the European Union and targets wildlife diseases. The size of the project requires significant financial resources, so a cost-benefit analysis is necessary to establish the economic value of the project. We summarized all ORV costs during the period 2011-2016 in Croatia, calculated all established benefits and presented the cost-benefit ratio (CBR). Additionally, we analysed all components included in the ORV and rabies control programme (surveillance, preventive human treatment and vaccination of dogs) to find possibilities to increase the benefits. According to our results, in the period 2011-2016, the CBR was only 0.05, and the majority of the cost was derived from the preventive vaccination of dogs (72.3%). With the implementation of 2- or 3-year vaccination intervals, the CBR can be increased to 1.46 or 1.92, respectively, confirming positive economic value. This study shows the importance of analysing all rabies control and eradication components based on the specific characteristics of a particular country to determine the factors that can be modified to potentially improve the benefits of ORV.