August 19, 1968

Immunologic Reaction to Duck Embryo Rabies Vaccine

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center; and the Virus Disease Section, Ecological Investigations Program, National Communicable Disease Center, Bureau of Disease Prevention, and Environmental Control, Public Health Service, Kansas City, Kan. Dr. Harris is now at Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, Calif.

JAMA. 1968;205(8):559-562. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140340029006

Local cutaneous reactions and diffuse neurological dysfunction occurred in a patient during immunization with duck embryo rabies vaccine. Attempts to isolate an infectious agent were not successful, and it was concluded that the illness was the result of an immunologic reaction to the vaccine. The patient recovered without specific therapy. The patient's serum contained precipitating antibodies against the vaccine, and intradermal testing with the vaccine induced induration at 24 hours. These findings were interpreted to indicate that both Arthus-like reactions and delayed hypersensitivity may have to be operative in the clinical disorder.