Bio

DR. KITALA PHILIP M

Was born in the year 1957 in Machakos County. After my early education, I joined the University of Nairobi in 1978 for a degree course in Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (BVM) which I completed in 1983. In 1984, I was offered a scholarship by the Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD) to pursue master’s studies in the Department of Public Health, Pharmacology and Toxicology (PHPT), University of Nairobi. I completed the MSc in Veterinary Public Health in 1987 after which I was appointed a lecturer in the same department in 1988.

Publications


2013

Gachohia, JM, Kitala PM, Ngumi PN, Skiltone RA, Betta B.  2013.  Population attributable fractions of farm vector tick (Rhipicephalus appendiculatus) presence on Theileria parva infection seroprevalence under endemic instability. Abstract

The primary objective of this study was to assess the impact of Rhipicephalus appendiculatus tick presence (exposure variable) on Theileria parva infection seroprevalence (outcome variable) in a group of cattle belonging to a farm using population attributable fractions (PAF). The analyses were based on a representative sample of 80 traditional smallholder mixed farms. The farms were selected by first stratifying the population administratively and implementing a multistage random sampling in Mbeere district in Kenya. The PAFs were estimated using the stratified, Bruzzi, and sequential partitioned PAF approaches. A secondary objective was, thus, to evaluate the impact of the approaches on the PAF estimates. The stratified and Bruzzi approaches estimated proportion of T. parva infection cases directly attributable to the exposure after controlling for confounding by agro-ecological zone (AEZ). The sequential partitioned PAF approach estimated a PAF associated with exposure after adjusting for any effect that the AEZ may have had by influencing the prevalence of the exposure. All analyses were carried out at the farm level where a farm was classified as infested if the tick was found on cattle on a farm, and infected if at least one animal on a farm was positive for T. parva antibodies. Variance estimation for PAFs was implemented using ‘delete-a-group’ jackknife re-sampling method. The stratified PAF (26.7% [95% CI: 9.0%, 44.4%]) and Bruzzi PAF (26.4% [95% CI: 9.6%, 43.2%]) were consistent in estimating a relatively low impact of farm vector tick presence with a relatively high level of uncertainty. The partitioned PAF (15.5% [95% CI: 1.5%, 29.6%]) suggested that part of the impacts estimated using the stratified PAF and Bruzzi approaches was driven by AEZ effects. Overall, the results suggested that under endemic instability in Mbeere district, (1) presence of R. appendiculatus was not a good indicator of T. parva infection occurrence on a farm; (2) ecological variation could play a role in determining infection impacts. This study provides a preliminary basis for evaluating the potential value and utility of estimating PAFs for variables amenable to control in tick-borne diseases (TBDs) epidemiological studies.

2012

2010

2009

Asaava, LL, Kitala PM, Gathura PB, Nanyingi MO, Muchemi G, Schelling E.  2009.  A survey of bovine cysticercosis/human taeniosis In Northern Turkana District, Kenya. Abstract

Bovine cysticercosis is a zoonosis that is mainly of socioeconomic ,H1(1 public health impor, ranee. A survey of this disease was.carried ou t in Northern Turkana District, Kenya to estimate the prevalence through both serology and meat inspection. to determine the prevalence or the adult tapeworm in the human definitive 11Ost, and to determine risk factors for cattle seropositivity. This information is of public health importance and will be of use inassessing economic losses due to downgrading, refrigeration or condemnation of infested carcasses. The study area was stratified into the three livestock grazing regions of Oropoi to the south, Lokichoggio--Mogilla centrally and Kibish in the north for the purposes of rhe serological and questionnaire (n = 53 herd owners) data. Five ada/wars (grazing units) were selected and 34, 63. 49, 75 and 571 cattle serum samples obtained from these. The slaughter slabs of Lokichoggio and Kakurna were visited and 188 serum samples were obtained from slaughter cattle and compared to results of meat inspection. Human stool samples were collected in each of the three grazing areas and 66, 97 and 78 samples were obtained. The seroprevalence of cysticercosis in cattle was estimated at 16.7% (95% CI 13-20,9%) using a secretory-excretory antigen detection ELISA. There was poor agreement between meat inspection and serology (I< = 0.025; P = 0.2797). The prevalence of taeniasis was estimated as 2.5% (95% CI 0.8-5.6%) by microscopy. A backwards elimination logistic regression analysis indicated that the grazing unit (Ada/war), the deworrning history of household members and the distance (>2km) of gl-azing fields from the homestead were significant expla-natory variables for cattle being found to be positive on serology. An intra-cluster correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0,07 (0.02-0.12); P < 0.0001 was calculated for bovine cysticercosis in this area

2006

Bett, B;, Kitala J;, Gathuma J.  2006.  Developing a Frame Work for Evaluating Vaccination Strategies Against Foot and Mouth Disease Required for the Establishment of ‘Disease Free Zones’ in Kenya. Abstract

Foot and mouth disease is the most economically devastating disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals. In most parts of Kenya, the disease has become endemic because the available control measures (prophylactic or reactive vaccination) are not being applied at an intensity that would curtail the maintenance of the disease. The effectiveness of the control interventions is complicated by factors that reduce vaccination coverage and efficacy; these factors include spatial and host heterogeneities, low rates of uptake of the vaccines and the multiple serotypes of the virus. The conditions necessary for the establishment of disease free zones, given these limitations, are explored using a mathematical model that combines the mass-action transmission principles with spatial correlation structure describing the contact patterns between clusters of cattle and potential reservoirs. Cattle clusters are nested within those of potential reservoirs. The relative contact probabilities between clusters vary depending on the distances between them. The outputs indicate that with a trivalent vaccine, very high vaccination coverage would have to be realized on a regular basis if disease free zones were to be established. This may require a review of the existing cost sharing policy as it is the main cause of the low uptake of prophylactic vaccination.

M, DRKITALAPHILIP, O DROGARAWILLIAM, BAARO DRGATHURAPETER.  2006.  The Socio-economic Impact of Important Camel Diseases as Perceived by a Pastoralist Community in Kenya. journal. : Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine Abstract
This paper presents the results of a study conducted in a pastoral community in Kenya using participatory appraisal approaches. The objective of the study was to assess the socio-economic impact of camel trypanosomosis (surra) according to the perceptions of the pastoralists. Four livestock grazing units were conveniently selected and in each of them, three groups of key informants comprising five to eight persons were selected for the  participatory exercises. Five camel diseases were listed in order of importance according to their severity and frequency of occurrence including trypanosomosis, mange, non-specific diarrhoea, tick infestations and haemorrhagic septicaemia. The losses listed as incurred due to the five diseases were: losses in milk, meat, blood, fats and hides, dowry payments, and depreciation in sale of animals, losses due to infertility and abortions and losses due to the cost of treatment. There was good agreement (p<0.05) between the informant groups on the losses incurred as a result of the diseases for all the selected loss indicators. Surra and mange were given high median scores on all the indicators while non-specific diarrhoea, tick infestations, and haemorrhagic septicaemia received moderate median scores. Based on the study findings it is concluded that the camel plays a central role in the lives of Turkana pastoralists and that surra has a devastating social and economic impact. There is a need for veterinary and policy decision-makers to focus more attention on the control of surra in this arid and semi-arid area of Kenya.   Keywords:      Camel trypanosomosis, participatory approach, surra, Turkana pastoralists
M, DRKITALAPHILIP.  2006.  Developing a Framework for Evaluating Vaccination Strategies Against Foot and Mouth Disease Required for the Establishment of . conference. : Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine Abstract
Foot and mouth disease is the most economically devastating disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals. In most parts of Kenya, the disease has become endemic because the available control measures (prophylactic or reactive vaccination) are not being applied at an intensity that would curtail the maintenance of the disease. The effectiveness of the control interventions is complicated by factors that reduce vaccination coverage and efficacy; these factors include spatial and host heterogeneities, low rates of uptake of the vaccines and the multiple serotypes of the virus. The conditions necessary for the establishment of disease free zones, given these limitations, are explored using a mathematical model that combines the mass-action transmission principles with spatial correlation structure describing the contact patterns between clusters of cattle and potential reservoirs. Cattle clusters are nested within those of potential reservoirs. The relative contact probabilities between clusters vary depending on the distances between them. The outputs indicate that with a trivalent vaccine, very high vaccination coverage would have to be realized on a regular basis if disease free zones were to be established. This may require a review of the existing cost sharing policy as it is the main cause of the low uptake of prophylactic vaccination.
M, DRKITALAPHILIP, O DROGARAWILLIAM, BAARO DRGATHURAPETER.  2006.  Participatroy Approaches in the Control of Camel Trypanosomosis in Lapur Division of Turkana District, Kenya. journal. : Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine Abstract
This study was conducted to evaluate the control of trypanosomosis in camels in Turkana district of Kenya using participatory approaches. Lapur division of the district was conveniently selected as the study area considering logistics and security concerns. Four main animal camps (adakars) formed the study units. Key informants from each adakar were selected for participatory research processes. Participatory mapping, semi-structured interviews, pair-wise comparisons and matrix scoring were the participatory methods employed. Five camel diseases in order of their importance, were identified, namely, camel trypanososmosis, tick infestation, non-specific diarrhoea, mange and harmorrhagic septicaemia. Twelve groups of the lay key informants agreed well on the presenting signs of theses diseases. Although trypanocides were considered by the informants to be reasonably available, the most preferred method for the control of camel trypanosomosis was the use of indigenous remedies. These indigenous remedies included the oral administration to sick camels with variety of herbs mixed with soups from goat, wildcat, bird or donkey meat. The results from this study revealed that camel trypanosomosis is an important disease in Turkana district. The prices of the available modern trypanocides in the management of camel trypanosomosis appeared to hamper the effective control of the disease. However, the efficacy of the widely used indigenous remedies remains undetermined.
M, DRKITALAPHILIP.  2006.  Evaluation of a Synthetic Tsetse-repellent Developed for Control of Cattle Trypanosomosis in Kenya. conference. : Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine Abstract
A field trial was carried out in Kajiado and Narok districts to assess the effectiveness of a synthetic tsetse-repellent technology developed for the control of cattle trypanosomosis in Kenya. The trial was conducted over a period of 12 months that was preceded by a baseline period of 4 months. A sample size of 24 herds comprising 12 treatment and 12 control herds was used. The sample size was estimated assuming an a of 5%, b of 20%, intra-herd correlation coefficient of 0.4 and that the repellent technology, if effective, would reduce the incidence of trypanosomosis in treated herds by 50%. Trypanosome infections and tsetse challenge were monitored on monthly basis. The variables used to gauge the effectiveness of the repellent are: the herd-level trypanosomosis incidence and the rate of use of trypanocidal drugs by the recruited farmers. Trypanosomosis incidence was treated as an outcome variable in a population-averaged regression model that had treatment, study area, tsetse density, season, drug use and herd size as independent effects. The results indicate that the technology was not effective in reducing trypanosomosis incidence in cattle. A mathematical model developed for theoretical evaluation of the repellent supports the findings obtained from the field trial.

2005

M, DRKITALAPHILIP.  2005.  Community perceptions of important camel diseases in Lapur Division of Turkana District, Kenya. journal. : Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine Abstract
This paper presents the results of a study conducted in Lapur Division of Turkana District, Kenya, to estimate the incidence and mortality of camel trypanosomosis using participatory methods. Four livestock camps (Adakars) were conveniently selected for the study. Four informant groups comprising 6 - 8 key persons were used for the participatory exercises. The camel diseases identified by the pastoralists in their order of importance according to annual incidence were: trypanosomosis (11.4%); mange (10.8%); tick infestation (7.9%); haemorrhagic septicaemia (7.7%); and non-specific diarrhoea (7.6%). Almost half (49.3%) of the camel population suffered from at least one disease over the previous year. The annual incidence and mortality rates of trypanosomosis were estimated at 15% and 9.9% in adult camels and 6.9% and 5.2% in young camels, respectively. There was a seasonal occurrence of trypanosomosis, with most cases reported in the dry season. The prevalence levels of the disease reportedly declined from about 100% in 1978 to an almost stable state of about 15% in 2002. This study revealed that camel trypanosomosis is still an important disease in Turkana District, exacting a heavy toll in terms of morbidity and mortality. The economic losses due to the disease were likely to have been great owing to the central role the camel plays in this arid district of Kenya.

2003

Skilton, R;, Kitala PM;, Ngumi PN;, Gachohi JM.  2003.  The prevalence of serum antibodies to East coast fever and associated risk factors in cattle in the traditional crop-livestock system in Mbeere district, Kenya; a cross-sectional study. Abstract

East coast fever (ECF) is the most important tick-borne disease (TBD) of cattle in Kenya. A cross-sectional survey was carried out in the cattle population raised under traditional crop-livestock production system in Mbeere district, Kenya. The objective was to estimate ECF seroprevalence and identify associated risk factors for planning ECF control strategies in the district. A total of 440 cattle of all ages from 80 farms were selected by multistage random sampling. Prevalence of serum antibodies to ECF was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Risk factor information was collected at three levels: animal-, farm-(herd) and division-levels. The relationship between ECF seropositivity and the risk factors was assessed by multivariable analysis using logistic regression models. The overall ECF seroprevalence was 19.3% (range: 3.9% to 48% across divisions) in the district [95%CI: 13.7%, 24.9%]. Regression analysis found four major factors associated with seropositivity: presence of the vector tick on the farm (OR=3.8), frequency of calf tick control before 6 months of age (for frequency of >5 times, OR=3.9 relative to frequency of ≤5 times), herd size (OR for herd size category 6-10 cattle = 2.7; OR for over 10 cattle = 0.95 relative to herd size category 1-5 cattle) and division (ORs for Siakago, Gachoka and Mwea divisions = 0.3, 0.21 and 5.1 respectively relative to Evurore division). The low ECF seroprevalence indicates that ECF occurs in the district in an endemic instability state. The significant herd management factors possibly arose out of differential perceptions of ECF occurrence and importance across the district while the wide variation in seroprevalence across divisions was thought to be due to a gradient in vector tick environmental suitability habitats. These findings suggest that ECF seroprevalence in Mbeere district is mainly influenced by herd and environmental factors.

2002

M, DRKITALAPHILIP, BAARO DRGATHURAPETER, MUCHAI PROFKAGIKOM, BAARO DRGATHURAPETER.  2002.  Water Supply and Quality Control in Kenya: The Past, Present and Future. journal. : Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine Abstract
Critically examined in this paper are the current sources of water for human consumption in Z Kenya. The various treatment methods and their effectiveness are highlighted. The quality control methods and the statutory regulatory bodies in place are mentioned. Water standards in use are compared with those World Health Organization (WHO). The question whether water supply and quality control should continue to be the domain of the civic/municipal authorities and whether they treat their water properly is discussed.
M, DRKITALAPHILIP, BAARO DRGATHURAPETER, MUCHAI PROFKAGIKOM, OLAKEKAN DRMUSTAPHAAMIDU, MWIHURIH PROFNJERUHF.  2002.  An Assessment of the Bacteriological Quality of Drinking Water from Boreholes and Domestic Tanks in Kikuyu Division of Kiambu District, Kenya. journal. : Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine Abstract
The microbiological quality of ground water (boreholes) and domestic tanks in five locations of Kikuyu Division, Kiambu District, was determined. Two boreholes and twelve domestic tanks were sampled from each location. Seven (70%) out of 10 boreholes were contaminated with faecal coliforms. Total bacterial counts ranged from 1 to 6280 per ml of water while the coliform counts ranged from 0 to 161. Out of 70 water samples screened for faecal coliforms, 63 (90%) were positive. Faecal Streptococci were isolated in 71% of the samples.
M, DRKITALAPHILIP.  2002.  Comparison of vaccination strategies for the control of dog rabies in Machakos District, Kenya. journal. : Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine Abstract
Demographic and epidemiological field data were used in a deterministic model to describe dog rabies transmission in Machakos District, Kenya and to predict the impact of potential vaccination strategies for its control. The basic reproduction number (R0) was estimated to be 2.44 (1.52 - 3.36, 95% confidence limits). There were three key model predictions. The first was that a threshold dog density (KT) of 4.5 dogs km-2 (3.8 - 5.2 dogs km-2, 95% confidence limits) were required to maintain transmission. The second was that the estimated annual vaccination rate of 24% failed to decrease incidence and actually increased the stability of transmission and may be counter-productive. Thirdly, to control rabies, it was predicted that 59% (34% - 70%, 95% confidence limits) of dogs should be vaccinated at any time. This requires approximately 70% coverage for annual but only 60% coverage for semi-annual vaccination campaigns. Community-level vaccination trials are needed to test these predictions.
M, DRKITALAPHILIP, L. PROFWANJALACHRISTOPHER.  2002.  A Survey of the Level of Rabies Vaccination of Dog Populations of Machakos and Makueni Districts, Kenya. journal. : Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine Abstract
A random sample survey using personal interviews was conducted in Machakos and Makueni Districts of Kenya in 1992 to estimate the level of rabies vaccination of the dog population. To substantiate the results of the interviews, a sample of the surveyed dogs 3 months old and above were bled for serum rabies antibody determination using an inhibition enzyme immunoassay (INH EIA). Of the 266 surveyed 3 months old and above, only 29% (77/266) were reportedly vaccinated against rabies. Out of the 197 dog sera titrated for rabies antibody, only 29% (57/197) had detectable antibodies and only 16% (32/197) had antibody tires equal to or greater than the threshold considered protective of 0.5 I.U/ml. There was a strong positive association between a history of previous vaccination and the detection of rabies antibodies. Of 133 dogs with no history of previous vaccination, 20% (26/133) had detectable antibodies. With the rabies incidence in Machakos and Makueni Districts still unacceptably high, the level of vaccination estimated in this survey is clearly inadequate for rabies control and measures designed to increase it are discussed.

2001

Kabaka, WM, Gitau GK, Kitala PM, Maingi N, Vanleeuwen JA.  2001.  Risk factors associated with gastrointestinal nematode infections of cattle in Nakuru and Mukurweni districts in Kenya. Abstract

A study was carried out in Nakuru and Mukurweini districts of Kenya to identify the risk factors associated with gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infection in cattle on 128 dairy farms between June 16th 2010 and August 30th 2010. Faecal samples were collected from the rectum of 419 heads of cattle that were above three months of age on the selected farms, refrigerated and delivered to the Department of Veterinary Pathology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi, for GIN analyses (McMaster method) within 7 days. Questionnaires were administered on every farm to collect individual animal and farm management data. Logistic regression analysis was carried out (univariable and multivariable), and a model developed using a backward elimination method. The univariable analysis revealed that animal age, district, time to last deworming, frequency of manure removal, source of forages, and the type of dewormer used last as the factors associated with GIN infections in cattle. The final regression model indicated that animal age, farm district, time to last deworming, and the type of dewormer used last as the factors associated with nematode infections in cattle. The study concluded that grazing management and the deworming management, particularly among young animals, were the main factors associated with cattle GIN infections.

M, DRKITALAPHILIP.  2001.  Dog ecology and demography information to support the planning of rabies control in Machakos District, Kenya. journal. : Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine

2000

M, DRKITALAPHILIP.  2000.  Community-based active surveillance for rabies in Machakos District, Kenya. journal. : Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine Abstract
The rabies problem in Kenya has been greatest in Machakos District where the disease has persisted endemically for over 40 years. this paper presents the results of a one-year community-based active surveillance for rabies in six randomly selected sublocations in the district for the period 1992 - 1993. Approximately 860 rabid dogs per 100 000 dogs were confirmed in this study, compared to approximately 12 per 100 000 confirmed rabid dogs reported by the existing passive-surveillance system. This active surveillance underestimated the true rabies incidence, because only 41% (130/317) of the potential specimens could be diagnosed. Dogs accounted for 92% (179/194) of primary animal-rabies suspects, 80% (66/83) of secondary suspects, 81% of the confirmed rabies cases. The annual incidence of animal-bites of humans was 234 per 100 000 people and the point estimate human-rabies incidence per year was 25 per million people. Almost all (97%) animal-bites of humans were due to dogs.   The traditional passive-surveillance system grossly underestimated the importance of rabies as a public-health problem in Machakos District. Community-based active surveillance provides a potential cost-effective strategy for greatly improving estimates of rabies incidence and epidemiology to inform veterinary and policy decision-making.

1997

Kitala, P, McDermott J, Dye C.  1997.  Transmission dynamics of dog rabies in Machakos district, Kenya. Abstract

Rabies is still prevalent in most parts of the developing WOrld, with approximately 4 million people in Asia, Africa, and South America receiving post-exposure treatment and over 30 000 dying after being bitten by rabid dogs (WHO, 1992). In Kenya, rabies has been common in Machakos District for at least 40 years. We have undertaken several studies in recent years to collect information on dog ecology, dog population dynamics and rabies epidemiology required to improve rabies control in this district (Kitala et aI., 1993; Kitala and McDermott, 1995). Given this baseline data, mathematical models, often quite simple ones, can serve as a useful tool for predicting disease incidence under different natural and disease control scenarios (Anderson and May, 1991) and have been used to advantage in assessing rabies epidemiology, particularly in fox populations in Europe and North America (e.g. Anderson et al., 1981; Voigt et al., 1985). In this paper, we describe a simple deterministic model of rabies which incorporates both transitions between the main rabies disease states and dog populaton parameters. particularly thresholds for dog density. We compare model predictions to observed patterns of rabies in Machakos District and also explore the potential efficacy of different rabies control programmes.

1996

Mochabo, MOK, Gathura PB, Ogara WO, Eregae EM, Kaitho TO, Catley A.  1996.  Socio-economic impacts of smallholder irrigation schemes among the Borana nomads of Isiolo district, Kenya. Abstractabstract10.pdfWebsite

This paper presents the results of a study conducted in a pastoral community in Kenya using partici¬patory appraisal approaches. The objective of the study was to assess the socio-economic impact of camel trypanosomosis (surra) according to the perceptions of the pastoralists. Four livestock grazing units were conveniently selected and in each of them, three groups of key informants comprising five to eight persons were selected for the participatory exercises. Five camel diseases were listed in or¬der of importance according to their severity and frequency of occurrence including trypanosomosis, mange, non-specific diarrhoea, tick infestations and haemorrhagic septicaemia. The losses listed as incurred due to the five diseases were: losses in milk, meat, blood, fats and hides, dowry payments, and depreciation in sale of animals, losses due to infertility and abortions, and losses due to the cost of treatment. There was good agreement (P < 0.05) between the informant groups on the losses in¬curred as a result of the diseases for all the selected loss indicators. Surra and mange were given high median scores on all the indicators while non-specific diarrhoea, tick infestations, and haemor¬rhagic septicaemia received moderate median scores. Based on the study findings it is concluded that the camel plays a central role in the lives of Turkana pastoralists and that surra has a devastating social and economic impact. There is a need for veterinary and policy decision-makers to focus more attention on the control of surra in this arid and semi-arid area of Kenya.

1995

M, DRKITALAPHILIP.  1995.  Population dynamics of dogs in Machakos District, Kenya: implications for vaccination strategy. proceedings. : Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine

1993

M, DRKITALAPHILIP.  1993.  Features of dog ecology relevant to rabies spread in Machakos District, Kenya. journal. : Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine Abstract
A random sample of households in Machakos District of Kenya was surveyed using personal interviews to determine features of dog ecology relevant to the spread of rabies. A mean of 1.3 dogs/households, a dog to person ratio of 1:1.96 and a mean of 10.4 dogs /km2 were estimated. The male to female ratio was 1:0.67 with 26% of the dog population being less than three months old. The dogs had a mean age of 1.8 years. The proportion of the dogs which fed on household leftovers and waste was 94.7%. Dogs were restricted in 19.4% of the households, while 69% of the dogs spent all of their time free outdoors. One-third of the dog population over three months old had been vaccinated against rabies. Considering the endemic status of rabies in Machakos District, methods which could be devised to control the disease are discussed.

1990

M, DRKITALAPHILIP.  1990.  Comparison of Human Immune Response to Purified Vero Cell and Human Diploid Cell Rabies Vaccines by Using Two Different Antibody Titration Methods. journal. : Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine Abstract
Antibody responses to a conventional rabies preexposure regimen of a new purified Vero cell rabies vaccine (PVRV) and a human diploid cell vaccine (HDCV) were compared in 80 healthy Kenyan veterinary students. Forty-three of the students received the PVRV and 37 received the HDCV on days 0, 7, and 28. Antibody responses were monitored using the rapid fluorescent-focus inhibition test (RFFIT) and an inhibition enzyme immunoassay (INH EIA) on days 0, 7, 28, and 49. Both vaccines elicited a rapid antibody response. A good correlation between the RFFIT titers and the INH EIA titers was obtained (r = 0.90). Our results also showed that the INH EIA was more reproducible and might therefore be a suitable substitute for the more expensive and less reproducible RFFIT. The geometric mean titers determined by both tests in the two groups of students were statistically similar during the test period. The RFFIT and the INH EIA gave comparable geometric mean titers, which differed significantly only on day 28 in the PVRV group. The effect of the new PVRV is comparable to that of the more expensive HDCV, as determined by the present test systems. The PVRV could therefore be the vaccine of choice, especially in tropical rabies-endemic areas, where the high cost of the HDCV has confined its use to a privileged few.

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