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Antibody Testing

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. 

Titers between the lower test limit (~0.03 IU/ml) and the internationally accepted limit of 0.5 IU/ml indicate a reaction to vaccination (positive result). However, no statement can be made about the protection against rabies with these titers.

For entry, the titer of at least 0.5IU/ml must be reached.

In order to prevent misinterpretations in connection with "positive" findings below 0.5 IU/ml, the following text is inserted: "Antibodies to rabies virus were detectable (positive). The measured antibody titer is below 0.5 IU/ml and therefore does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about the presence of protective immunity in the tested animal. An antibody titer of 0.5 IU/ml or higher after vaccination indicates protection against rabies according to WHO/WOAH guidelines."