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Benefit–Risk Assessment of the French Surveillance Protocol of Apparently Healthy Biting Dogs and Cats for Human Rabies Prevention

Abstract : In France, apparently healthy dogs and cats that bite humans must undergo an observation period of 15 days with three veterinary visits to ascertain that they remain healthy, indicating that no zoonotic transmission of rabies virus occurred via salivary presymptomatic excretion. This surveillance protocol is mandatory for all pets that have bitten humans, despite France’s rabies-free status in non-flying mammals (i.e., a very low rabies risk). In this context, we aimed to perform a benefit–risk assessment of the existing regulatory surveillance protocol of apparently healthy biting animals, as well as alternative surveillance protocols. A scenario-tree modelling approach was used to consider the possible successions of events between a dog or cat bite and a human death attributed to either rabies or to lethal harm associated with the surveillance protocol (e.g., lethal traffic accidents when traveling to veterinary clinics or anti-rabies centers). The results demonstrated that the current French surveillance protocol was not beneficial, as more deaths were generated (traffic accidents) than avoided (by prompt post-exposure prophylaxis administration). We showed here that less stringent risk-based surveillance could prove more appropriate in a French context. The results in this study could allow policy-makers to update and optimize rabies management legislation.
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https://hal-anses.archives-ouvertes.fr/anses-03292441
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 2, 2021 - 5:38:33 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 10:27:19 PM

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Guillaume Crozet, Tiffany Charmet, Florence Cliquet, Emmanuelle Robardet, Barbara Dufour, et al.. Benefit–Risk Assessment of the French Surveillance Protocol of Apparently Healthy Biting Dogs and Cats for Human Rabies Prevention. Veterinary Sciences, MDPI, 2021, 8 (7), pp.132. ⟨10.3390/vetsci8070132⟩. ⟨anses-03292441⟩

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