Comparative study of optical markers to assess bait system efficiency concerning vaccine release in the oral cavity of dogs
Oral vaccination of dogs against rabies has the potential to achieve mass coverage and thus deplete the virus of its most important reservoir host species. There is, however, no established non-invasive method to evaluate vaccine release in the oral cavity, following bait ingestion. In this study, two pre-selected marker methods in conjunction with their acceptance were assessed in local Thai dogs. Shelter dogs (n = 47) were offered one of four randomized bait formulations; bait type A-, containing Green S (E142) in a fructose solution; type B-, containing Patent Blue V (E131) in a fructose solution; type C-, containing the medium used for delivery of oral rabies vaccine in baits commercially produced; and type D-, containing denatonium benzoate, which was to serve as the negative control, due to its perceived bitterness. Patent Blue V was found to possess overall stronger dyeing capacities compared to Green S. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in the acceptance or bait handling of Patent Blue V baits compared to those containing the oral rabies vaccine medium alone, suggesting the potential use of this dye as a surrogate for rabies vaccine when testing newly developed bait formats.