Oral rabies vaccination of wildlife has effectively reduced the incidence of rabies in wildlife and has led to the elimination of rabies in large areas of Europe. The safety of oral rabies vaccines has been assessed in both target (red fox and raccoon dog) and several non-target species.
Since 2011, the competent authority in Finland has received a few reports of dogs experiencing adverse reactions that have been assumed to be caused by the consumption of baits containing oral rabies vaccine. The dogs usually exhibited gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting, inappetence, constipation or diarrhoea) or behavioral symptoms (restlessness, listlessness and unwillingness to continue hunting).
Nevertheless, these adverse reactions are transient and non-life threatening. Even though the adverse reactions are unpleasant to individual dogs and their owners, the benefits of oral rabies vaccination clearly outweigh the risks.
We evaluated acceptance of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination by adolescents and their parents, 83% and 86% of whom accepted vaccination. Improving knowledge and awareness of HPV, and addressing parental concerns about vaccinating adolescents, most notably on vaccinating against a sexually transmitted disease, should help tackle factors associated with being resistant to accepting HPV vaccination.
Virus isolated from an outbreak of poliomyelitis in Finland has been examined serologically and at the molecular level. The causative agent was an antigenically unusual strain of type 3 poliovirus, which was unrelated to the strains used to manufacture either live or killed poliovaccines. It is likely that the antigenic properties of the virus played a part in establishing a limited outbreak of poliomyelitis in a vaccinated population.
A nationwide vaccination campaign with oral poliovirus vaccine was organized in Finland in 1985 to halt an outbreak of poliomyelitis. Immunocompromised persons and their household contacts were excluded from the oral poliovirus vaccine target group and given instead a dose of inactivated poliovirus vaccine. This gave us an opportunity to determine whether immunocompromised persons are protected from poliomyelitis during an outbreak and oral poliovirus campaign. Fourteen children, ages 3 to 17 years, with leukemia were given a booster dose of a novel high antigen content, trivalent inactivated poliovirus vaccine. All but two responded by an at least 4-fold increase in serum-neutralizing antibodies to at least one poliovirus serotype. These results indicate that children with acute lymphocytic leukemia in remission respond well to a booster dose of inactivated poliovirus vaccine. Antibody concentrations to the uncommon local epidemic strain of type 3 poliovirus remained, however, relatively low in most patients (median, 1:6) suggesting relatively impaired heterologous response to vaccination. Possible spread of live vaccine viruses to the inactivated poliovirus-vaccinated children and their close contacts was evaluated by examining weekly fecal specimens from 20 children and their 19 regular adult contacts for cytopathic viruses. No polioviruses were isolated from 224 specimens examined, indicating that this high risk population was well-protected from unintended exposure to live polioviruses.
This study sought to determine the level of general knowledge about HIV infection among Finnish medical students and their willingness to participate in AIDS vaccine trials. One hundred and sixty-two volunteer medical students at the University of Kuopio in the 2nd and 5th years of training filled self-administered questionnaires. The overall response rate among the 2nd year students was 77%, and among the 5th year students 70%. Knowledge was scored on a percentage scale. The mean score on general knowledge about HIV among 2nd year students was 75.6 (SD=0.23) while in the 5th year it was 87.8 (SD 0.18). Fifty-four students (77%) from the 5th year and 66 (72%) from the 2nd year indicated their willingness to participate (WTP) in AIDS vaccine trials (p=0.09). Medical curricula should be constantly revised to keep medical students up-to-date about recent advances in HIV/AIDS research.
We performed a cross-sectional study involving workers from four European countries in which exposure to pesticides and immune parameters were evaluated over a short period of time. The total study population consisted of 238 workers occupationally exposed to pesticides and 198 nonoccupationally exposed workers. The study showed that pesticide exposure at levels encountered by workers under different conditions in Europe did not affect the ability of the immune system to respond to vaccination. We could, however, identify individuals within the group of pesticide exposed workers who were genetically characterized by the 2.2 IL-1alpha polymorphism and who showed a lower antibody response, pointing out the importance of the understanding of genetic variability and the interaction between genetic and environmental factors in the identification of high-risk individuals, which may eventually lead to preventive measures.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections cause high disease burden. Primary prevention by vaccination is a major breakthrough. HPV vaccines are well tolerated and safe. Vaccines protect unexposed individuals against high-grade CIN and VIN/VaIN caused by the vaccine HPV types. Vaccines also provide protection against related oncogenic HPV types. The primary target population is young adolescents before their sexual debut. Catch-up vaccination policy up to age 26 may facilitate long-term health benefits but should not divert resources from vaccinating the primary target population or from effective cervical cancer screening programmes. Health benefits of vaccinating older age groups beyond age 26 are unknown.