Practical significance of rabies antibodies in cats and dogs

Rev Sci Tech. 1992 Sep;11(3):735-60. doi: 10.20506/rst.11.3.622.


Doubt has sometimes been cast upon the protective effect of rabies antibodies in serum. Animals and humans suffering from fatal rabies often produce high antibody titres, while rabies cases are also observed in vaccinated animals. Cellular immunity is also largely involved in protection. Nevertheless, a large number of laboratory experiments and field observations clearly demonstrate that cats and dogs which develop antibodies after vaccination and before challenge have a very high probability of surviving any challenge, no matter how strong the dose and which virus strain was used. Rabies antibody titration can, therefore, afford a strong additional guarantee to the vaccination certificates accompanying domestic carnivores during transportation between countries. Quarantine rules should also be adapted to the epidemiological features in the exporting country, e.g. statistics of vaccination failure in cats and dogs and host-virus adaptation of the rabies strains circulating in these countries.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Cat Diseases / immunology*
  • Cats
  • Dog Diseases / immunology*
  • Dogs
  • Rabies / immunology
  • Rabies / veterinary*
  • Rabies Vaccines / immunology
  • Rabies virus / immunology*
  • Vaccination / veterinary


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Rabies Vaccines