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8 June, 2006 - 08:34 By Staff Reporter

Virbac battles rabies threat

Virbac, the animal health pharma company with a base in Suffolk, is leading a global fight against the growing threat of rabies in humans.

The French-owned company was recently granted marketing authorisation in India for the SAG2 strain in the form of an oral bait vaccine for stray dogs, the main carriers of rabies in India and a number of countries in Africa, Asia and Central America.

A collaboration between Virbac, the French Agency for Food Safety and the World Health Organisation (WHO) was a determining factor in this authorisation.

In India, this vaccine will help to reduce the number of fatal cases in humans, which currently stands at 30,000 per year.

The bait developed by Virbac makes vaccination easy as it is appetising to dogs, is easily ingested and the animal is vaccinated by oral route. The vaccination´s specific formulation enables easy use in hot countries.

In India, Virbac plans to distribute the bait through State programmes (both in urban and rural areas) and private programmes (international or local NGOs) with operational support from the WHO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Besides their essential impact on public health, these programmes will have positive economic effect, by reducing rabies-related herd losses caused by dog bites.


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