Controlling human rabies: the development of an effective, cheap and locally made Passive Cooling Device for storing thermotolerant animal rabies vaccines

Lugelo, A., Hampson, K. , Bigambo, M., Kazwala, R. and Lankester, F. (2020) Controlling human rabies: the development of an effective, cheap and locally made Passive Cooling Device for storing thermotolerant animal rabies vaccines. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, 5(3), 130. (doi: 10.3390/tropicalmed5030130) (PMID:32796605) (PMCID:PMC7558109)

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Thermotolerant vaccines greatly improved the reach and impact of large-scale vaccination programs to eliminate diseases such as smallpox, polio and rinderpest. A recent study demonstrated that the potency of the Nobivac® Canine Rabies vaccine was not impacted following experimental storage at 30 °C for three months. We conducted a study to develop a passive cooling device (PCD) that could store thermotolerant vaccines under fluctuating subambient temperatures. Through a participatory process with local communities in Northern Tanzania, we developed innovative PCD designs for local manufacture. A series of field experiments were then carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of five PCDs for vaccine storage under varying climatic conditions. Following iterative improvement, a final prototype “Zeepot Clay” was developed at the cost of US$11 per unit. During a further field-testing phase over a 12-month period, the internal temperature of the device remained below 26 °C, despite ambient temperatures exceeding 42 °C. Our study thus demonstrated that locally designed PCDs have utility for storing thermotolerant rabies vaccines at subambient temperatures. These results have application for the scaling up of mass dog vaccination programs in low-and-middle income countries, particularly for hard-to-reach populations with limited access to power and cold-chain vaccine storage.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: This research was funded through the National Institutes of Health [R01AI141712] and MSD Animal Health and AL was supported by the DELTAS Africa Initiative (Afrique One-ASPIRE/DEL-15-008). Afrique One-ASPIRE was funded by a consortium of donors including the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordinating (NEPAD) Agency, the Wellcome Trust (107753/A/15/Z) and the UK government. K.H. was funded through the Wellcome Trust (207569/Z/17/Z).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lankester, Dr Felix and Hampson, Professor Katie and Lugelo, Dr Ahmed
Authors: Lugelo, A., Hampson, K., Bigambo, M., Kazwala, R., and Lankester, F.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
ISSN (Online):2414-6366
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 by the authors
First Published:First published in Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease 5(3):130
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
301620The Science of Rabies EliminationKatie HampsonWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)207569/Z/17/ZInstitute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine