South Asia is regarded as the hot spot for the tourist and travelers. Unfortunately, three big countries
(India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) of this region belong to top five rabies endemic countries of the world.
Around 55,000 people die of rabies every year globally and 45% of them belong to South and South East
Asia. Countries are now working on the elimination of rabies by the year 2020. Elimination of animal rabies
is the pivotal of controlling human rabies. Dog (primary source) registration, population control and mass
vaccination are the different ways of eliminating animal rabies. Pre (for risk groups including travelers) and
post-exposure vaccine is the core for controlling human rabies. Post-exposure vaccine consists of nerve tissue
vaccine and tissue culture vaccine. Due to low antigenicity and post-vaccine neurological complications all
countries of South Asia except Pakistan have phased out the production and use of nerve tissue vaccine. To
reduce the cost intramuscular regimen is now largely replaced by intradermal regimen and equine rabies immunoglobulin
will probably replace human immunoglobulin in future for category III animal bite. ‘SAARC’
took initiatives for rabies elimination through ‘SAARC development fund’ which would hopefully play a vital
role in regional collaboration to make the region rabies free.
Keywords: Asia, elimination, rabies, vaccine, zoonoses.
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