Death in four RHDV2-vaccinated pet rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) due to rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2)

Hänske, G. G.; König, Patricia GND; Schuhmann, B.; Bertram, C. A.; Müller, K.

Objectives To create awareness of single RHDV2 infections and cases of death despite immunisation with RHDV2‐specific vaccine. Materials and Methods Retrospective case series of four companion rabbits. Patient signalment, vaccination history, pathology and molecular examinations were obtained from the medical records. Results The animals died peracutely or with nonspecific symptoms like apathy and inappetence. Pathological examination indicated and molecular biological findings confirmed RHDV2 infection in four animals. Several partner animals died at the same time under the same circumstances. Clinical Significance This is the first report of fatalities in RHDV2‐vaccinated companion rabbits due to rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2 infection with documented case and vaccination history. Veterinarians should be aware of possible single fatal RHDV2 infections despite vaccination, should initiate the clarification of suspected cases and inform vaccine manufacturers and competent authorities.

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Hänske, A / König, Patricia / Schuhmann, B. / et al: Death in four RHDV2-vaccinated pet rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) due to rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2). 2021.

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