Rabies Vaccine and Antiviral Testing Services

Access purpose-built facilities and knowledgeable staff to support your in vivo and in vitro rabies and antiviral studies.

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Efficacy testing of rabies vaccine and antiviral candidates face unique challenges due to the lethal nature of the rabies virus and the ease with which it is transmitted. The in vivo phases of these studies require vivarium facilities with the appropriate containment levels and knowledgeable, experienced staff. Rabies studies are often performed in various species including rodents, companion animals (canines and felines) and primates.

We have more than 25 years of experience in testing various vaccine types, including subunit, DNA, RNA and others. As a full-solution provider, we offer both in vivo and in vitro testing services for immunogenicity and efficacy evaluation of your rabies vaccine. Our Denver, Pennsylvania site offers more than 60,000 square feet of vivarium space, including BSL2 containment, as well as trained staff with rabies testing experience in a variety of host species.

Based on the regulatory requirement for rabies vaccine testing, we also offer Duration of Immunity (DOI) studies, including one- and three-yearlong vaccination phases followed by viral challenge at either a single site or multiple geographic locations. 

Serum samples from the in vivo phases are analyzed for antibody titers and neutralization activity, and selected tissue samples (brain stems) are titrated for viral load determination. In vitro analysis is performed in-house in our newly renovated labs and through a partnership with world-renowned laboratories for specialized testing (i.e., Rapid Florescent Focus Inhibition Test [RFFIT]).

In vivo phase

Let us help you make the best choices in the design of vaccination and challenge studies.

  • Formulation
    • Based on vaccine type (recombinant, mRNA, etc.)
  • Host species
    • Rodent, guinea pig, rabbit, feline, canine, nonhuman primate
    • Specific supplies (i.e., Antibody Profile Defined – APD/SPF)
  • Virus for challenge
    • Human health – no single strain specified by regulators 
    • Animal health – designated and supplied by USDA
  • Positive control vaccine
    • Human health – RabAvert by Novartis or Imovax by Sanofi Pasteur or designated by sponsor

In vitro phase

Most appropriate choice from six veterinary rabies reference vaccines or designated by sponsor In vitro Phase

Keep things simple by having your immunogenicity and/or efficacy analysis performed in our new, state-of-the-art laboratories

  • Total antibody analysis by ELISA 
    • Isotype analysis, if needed
  • Neutralization analysis by RFFIT
    • Performed through partnership with world-renowned laboratories using industry standard methods
  • Viral load determination

Development of rabies vaccine necessitates a CRO partner who can provide the appropriate facilities, experienced and knowledgeable staff, in vivo and in vitro capabilities and flexibility to support small pilot studies to large, multiyear studies at several geographic locations. Our unique experience and position in the rabies vaccine development arena makes us an ideal partner for all of your vaccine testing needs.  

Our Recent Rabies Experience

Study Type


Rabies virus susceptibility study in hamsters


Evaluation and dose response assessment of efficacy compared to anti‑rabies monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) in the rabies virus post-challenge hamster model


Efficacy protocol for rabies post-exposure prophylaxis use of rabies monoclonal antibody + rabies vaccination in puppies


Rabies virus titration in rabies naïve puppies (challenge model development in puppies)


Rabies virus (PS) titration in mice


Evaluation of immunogenicity and efficacy of a recombinant adenovirus vaccine expressing rabies virus glycoprotein in mice


Evaluation of efficacy of anti-rabies virus drug (small molecular weight compound) against lethal rabies virus infection in a BALB/c mouse model


Short-term and one-year duration of immunity field efficacy of the killed rabies vaccine (Defensor 3), against USDA rabies challenge virus (New York City street rabies) challenge in cats


Study to confirm the dose of USDA rabies challenge virus (New York City street rabies) to induce at least 80% infection in dogs


Ready to learn about any of the above studies or book a rabies study with us? Contact us

On-site excellence for maximum study execution 

State-of-the-art facilities

  • Our Denver site provides state-of-the-art, ABSL2 vivariums with large, multispecies capacity, enabling you to start up to several hundred animals at a given time.
    • AAALAC accredited, OLAW assured
    • 60,000 square feet of dedicated vivarium space
    • 24/7 environmental and security monitoring
    • >18 air changes per hour
    • Flexibility to run pilot to large-scale studies
    • Option for individual, group and/or social housing (including EU style)  

Animal welfare

Our vivariums are all AAALAC accredited and staffed with specialized and highly trained team members.

  • 24-hour access to on-site attending veterinarians with experience in handling rabies infection and monitoring
  • Rigorous standards ensured by Labcorp’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee examining all proposals and approvals ahead of studies
  • Protocols developed in association with veterinarian/animal welfare teams to ensure humane endpoints are identified without compromising the study validity
  • Trained and certified animal technicians with hands-on experience monitoring these endpoints

Learn more about our commitment to animal welfare

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

We have an on-site, NIH-registered IBC to review, edit and approve all studies involving infectious materials. These approvals assure that proper virus handling and disposal precautions such as PPE and viral inactivation are appropriate and followed.

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