Epidemiology of rabies post-exposure prophylaxis--United States of America, 2006-2008

Vaccine. 2009 Nov 27;27(51):7156-61. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.09.028.


Background: The United States of America (USA) does not have a national reporting system for rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). We describe the epidemiology of PEP in the USA so recommendations can be made during a PEP shortage.

Methods: A two-part questionnaire designed to evaluate PEP distribution practices and estimate PEP use was administered to state health department representatives.

Results: Seventy-five percent of participants responded that no public health guidance was needed to make a recommendation for PEP. The annual national average PEP use is 23,415 courses of PEP (range: 10,645-35,845).

Conclusion: PEP is loosely monitored and a precise estimate of PEP use is unknown. Improved national surveillance for PEP is needed.

MeSH terms

  • Drug Utilization
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Post-Exposure Prophylaxis*
  • Rabies / epidemiology*
  • Rabies / prevention & control*
  • Rabies / therapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology