Medycyna Wet. 66 (3), 206-209, 2010
Majer-Dziedzic B., Szkucik K.
Serological evaluation of antibody titres to rabbit haemorrhagic disease
The research was aimed at determining the level of hemagglutination-inhibiting (HI) antibodies in the serum of slaughter rabbits. The research material consisted of 201 serum samples collected from slathered rabbits of 20 weeks of age and body weight from 4.5 to 5 kg. The rabbits originated from small farms (167 cross-breeds) and a battery farm (34 French Lops) located in south-eastern Poland. The animals from the battery farm had been vaccinated with "Cunivac," whereas those bred on small farms had not been vaccinated at all. The sera collected from the animals were examined with the hemagglutination-inhibiting test for the presence of antibodies to rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD). The results obtained showed that only 5% of the animals reacted negatively, while the remaining 95% showed positive titres. In the group of vaccinated rabbits, no antibodies were found in three animals. Titres ranging from 100 to 800 were noted in 21 sera, while 9 animals reacted with titres of 1000 or more. Out of the 201 sera examined, 167 came from non-vaccinated rabbits originating from regions free of RHD. Positive titres of HI antibodies were not found in 7 samples. On the other hand, 80.2% of the animals were characterised by positive titres of 100 or more. In a similar research conducted in 1992 as much 68.4% of 215 sera tested were found negative for these antibodies. The results of the present research showed a very high percentage of sera with positive titres in non-vaccinated animals, which were free from the disease. This might suggest that non-pathogenic strains (RCV) related to the RHD virus exist also in Poland. It appears that such strains might have a similar effect as a vaccine, immunising the infected animals, which show no symptoms of the disease.
Key words: rabbit, RHD, RHDV, RCV, HI test