Rabies post-exposure prophylactic vaccination for returning travelers to Japan.


Disease Control and Prevention Center/Travel Clinic, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, 1-21-1, Toyama, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in Japan is administered using 6 subcutaneous doses (on days 0, 3, 7, 14, 30, and 90), which is not in line with international recommendations of 4 or 5 intramuscular doses. For reducing dose frequency, we evaluate the immunogenicity of PEP with a regimen of 6 subcutaneous doses.
METHODS : This prospective single-center cross-sectional study was performed between September 2013 and December 2014. We included patients underwent rabies PEP by purified chick embryo-cultured rabies vaccine Kaketsuken (PCEC-K) at our clinic, and excluded patients with a history of pre-exposure prophylaxis or PEP using rabies immunoglobulin. The rabies virus-neutralizing antibody tests were performed at the first visit to our office (doses 1-4) and at the fifth and sixth doses.
RESULTS : Data were available for 43 of 59 enrolled patients. Thirty-two patients did not start PEP within 48 h after exposure to animals. The seroprotection rates (≥0.5 IU/mL) were 90.7% and 75.7%, at days 30 and 90, respectively. Despite receiving a fifth dose, 85.3% of the patients exhibited decreasing antibody titers during days 30-90 (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS : The seroprotection rates of PCEC-K induced subcutaneously were insufficient to prevent rabies at day 30 and 90.


Post exposure,Purified chick embryo-cultured rabies vaccine,Rabies,Subcutaneous administration,

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