Dog rabies control relies principally on the mass immunization of dogs in order to achieve population immunity levels sufficient to inhibit rabies transmission. In Africa, such high levels of population immunity are rarely achieved due to a number of reasons. Oral immunization has been shown to be an effective means of inducing high levels of immunity in fox populations in several European countries, and this technique has been mooted as a means of overcoming the logistical problems of delivering injectable rabies vaccines to dogs. This paper discusses the requirements for oral rabies vaccines for dogs in Africa and reviews the trials performed to date on baits and baiting systems suitable for the delivery of such vaccines. Issues affecting possible rabies vaccine distribution in the future are discussed and the major research issues still to be tackled are summarized.
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