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Rabies vaccine is associated with a decrease in all causes of mortality in dogs

D. L. Knobel, S. Arega, B. Reininghaus, G. J. G. Simpson, B. D. Gessner, H. Stryhn, A. Conan

Non-specific effects of vaccines are effects on the immune system of the vaccine recipient that alter their risk of illness or death from conditions other than the specific infectious disease the vaccine is designed to prevent.

The rabies vaccine is widely used in dogs. This study aimed to assess the association between rabies vaccine and all-cause mortality in dogs, stratified by age group (0 to three months, four to 11 months and 12 months and older), and controlling for the effects of sex and number of dogs in a residence.

Data collected over a four-year period (2012 to 2015) from an observational study of the health and demographics of a population of owned, free-roaming dogs in a low-income community in South Africa was analysed.

Rabies vaccination reduced the risk of death from any cause by 56 per cent in dogs aged 0 to three months, by 44 per cent in dogs aged …

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