The detection of neutralizing antibodies in serum samples is not suitable for diagnosis or exclusion of a rabies virus infection. Nevertheless, by detection of neutralizing antibodies in the serum of vaccinated animals or humans the protective immunity against rabies can be determined. A titre of 0.5 IU/ml serum or higher is considered as indicator for protection against the disease.
The Viro Vet Diagnostik UG at the Institute of Virology is approved for the detection of antibodies against rabies virus for the import/export of dogs and cats issued by the responsible authorities of most importing countries.
Interpretation of test results
Test results with regard to antibodies against rabies virus are sometimes misinterpreted. A titer of higher or equal than 0.5 IU/ml indicates protection against rabies and is suitable for import into rabies free countries. Titres between the lower test limit (~0.03IU/ml) and 0.5 IU/ml cannot be interpreted as protective. However these titres still indicate a reaction of the immune system and are therefor indicated as positive. To avoid misunderstanding we have added the folowing statement to ours test results:
"Antibodies against rabies virus were detectable (positive). The titre lies below 0.5 IU/ml and therefore no conclusion can be drawn with regard to the protection of the animal tested. An antibody titre of 0.5 IU/ml or above after vaccination indicates protection against rabies according to the guidelines of the WHO/OIE."
The EU Data Protection Regulation requires us to refrain from unnecessary processing of personal data. Information on the pet owner is not required in rabies certificates, as the unique data refer exclusively to the respective animal (in particular the transponder number).
We will therefore refrain from the automatic entry of owner data in the certificates with immediate effect.
The validity of the certificates is not affected by this measure. Even with a change of ownership, the certificates remain valid.