Rabies is a zoonose affecting wild and domestic animals and transmitted to humans through bites or scratches, causing over 60,000 human deaths, annually. The disease results from the transmission of a neurotropic virus leading to invariably deadly encephalitis. The post-exposure prophylaxis consists of careful washing and disinfection of the wound, antibiotherapy and tetanus prophylaxis when needed. Furthermore, rabies vaccine and rabies immunoglobulin [RIG] administration should be applied according to the type of wound, and the animal involved, according to the WHO protocols that are regularly updated. Unfortunately it is sometimes difficult to obtain RIG in some countries due to their high cost, leading to suboptimal treatment and possible death. Also, observance can be weak, due to the number of repeated visits required with protocols [up to five visits over 28 days]. These limitations justify research on new vaccines which were not conclusive at the moment. New RIGs are under development, including a monoclonal antibody cocktail which is more promising in a near future. Finally, vaccination protocols are in the way of being shortened in given conditions. Further studies are needed to validate these new practices.
Keywords: Humans, post exposure prophylaxis, rabies immunoglobulin, rabies, recommendations, vaccines.