Vaccines hidden in dog food could help curb the spread of rabies in countries with large populations of stray dogs, research suggests.
Experts say the approach could help to vaccinate millions of street dogs around the world that are often responsible for spreading the disease to people.
Times - Dogs - Day - Process - Techniques
Three times as many dogs could be vaccinated each day when the new process is combined with existing injectable techniques.
Experts from Mission Rabies, the Worldwide Veterinary Service and the University of Edinburgh assessed the feasibility of the approach in Goa, India.
Rabies - Vaccine - Use - India - Team
The oral rabies vaccine is not yet licensed for use in India so the team embedded empty capsules in dog food to test the concept.
Working with the Government of Goa Animal Husbandry Department, teams on mopeds searched for free-roaming dogs, delivering capsules in an attractive bait.
Member - Team - Dogs - Day - Vaccination
Each member of the team reached 35 dogs each day, compared with just nine using current vaccination methods.
They accessed 80 per cent of the dogs they spotted, compared with 63 per cent when only using the catch-vaccinate-release method.
Researchers - Vaccination - Approach - Maximise - Resources
As well as being more efficient, the researchers estimate that the combined vaccination approach could be cheaper, helping to further maximise limited resources.
There are an estimated 100 million stray dogs in India. Experts say that the combination of an injectable and oral vaccination approach could help them reach the minimum 70 per cent vaccine threshold needed to minimise risk of the disease being passed to people.
Rabies - Brain
Rabies is a serious brain...
Wake Up To Breaking News!