Immunogenicity and safety of purified Vero-cell rabies vaccine in severely rabies-exposed patients in China.Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2000 Jun; 31(2):287-94.SA
The immunogenicity and safety of a purified Vero-cell rabies vaccine (PVRV, VERORAB; Aventis Pasteur, France) were evaluated in 171 patients treated for severe exposure to rabies (WHO category III contacts) at the Shandong Provincial Antiepidemic Station in Jinan and an EPI center in Ping Yin, China. Post-exposure treatment consisted of a single dose of equine rabies immunoglobulin (ERIG, 40 IU/kg body weight) on Day (D) 0, and intra-muscular administration of PVRV on D 0, 3, 7, 14 and 28. Antirabies antibody levels were evaluated on D 0, 7, 14, 28, 90 and 180 using the rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test. By D 14 all subjects had seroconverted (> or = 0.5 IU/ml), with a geometric mean titer of 50.3 IU/ml. Antibody titers remained above the seroprotection threshold in all patients for 3 months, and in 98.2% of subjects for 6 months. All patients were still alive 6 months after the start of treatment. PVRV and ERIG were shown to be well tolerated and no serious adverse events were observed. Following PVRV administration, 12 patients (7.0%) had at least one local reaction (mostly pruritus, erythematous rash and pain). Fourteen patients (8.2%) developed local reactions at the site of ERIG administration. Twelve patients (7.0%) developed systemic reactions following post-exposure treatment, the most frequent of which were pruritus, rash and vertigo. This study demonstrates that PVRV is immunogenic and safe in Chinese patients treated according to WHO recommendations for severe rabies exposure.