Recovery of rabid dogs by intrathecal injection of rabies virus neutralizing antibodies
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Rabies is a fatal neurotropic zoonotic disease. Although rabies is preventable, there is no cure once the virus invades in to the CNS. In this study, dogs were infected with rabies virus DRV-NYC stain and treated with intrathecal injection of canine Ig with or without rabies VNA after onset of clinical signs. Dogs without treatment or treated with canine Ig without VNA all died of rabies while 66% of dogs treated with canine Ig with VNA survived. Both rabies N gene and antigen were detected in the dead, but not in the survived dogs. The inflammation and neuronal damage is extensive in the dead, but minimal in the survived dogs. These results indicate that the intrathecal injection of rabies VNA can clear the virus from the CNS and save dogs from clinical rabies. The intrathecal treatment with VNA may be a good method to treat clinical rabies in the future.