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PhD defence Patrick Soentjens

Simplifying the Rabies Vaccination Schedule

26 juin 202015:30

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Keynote lecture: Declaration of Public Health Emergencies of International Concern: Whether, When, and Why (not)? - Robert Steffen

Register to follow online at 13h30

PhD defence: Simplifying the Rabies Vaccination Schedule

Register to follow online at 17h00


  • Prof Dr. Pierre Vandamme (University of Antwerp)
  • Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Bottieau (Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp)


Shortened and simpler rabies PrEP and PEP ID schedules, using low-dose vaccine volumes can be considered as a good illustration of ‘less can be more’.
The story of a first successful post-exposure treatment against rabies by Josef Meister, who was bitten by a rabid dog, was performed by Louis Pasteur in 1885. This treatment, which comprised 13 injections given over 9 days ended with the injection of a fully virulent virus. Today, the new post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) can be simplified to a total of six intradermal micro-injections (one dose of 0.1 mL in two separate arms) divided over 3 days in one week (day 0, day 3 and day 7). Our team evaluated shortened combined pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and PEP schedules over 3 days and 2 days in two randomised clinical trials, of which an adapted version is now promoted by WHO as first-line PrEP and PEP over in total 3 days.
Bringing the rabies prevention schedule 134 years later from nine visits to three or to two assures clinical effectiveness of this regimen with a safer profile, better compliance, and drastically simplifies rabies prevention procedures for the traveller.