Cover Page

Cite item


Notwithstanding the availability of effective vaccines, 40 - 60 thousand rabies cases in humans are reported every year. Almost always the disease is fatal because therapeutic treatment of lyssavirus encephalitis has not been developed. Since 1970 the number of reports on rare cases of convalescence including those using experimental treatment protocols has been gradually increasing 20 cases of convalescence, “partial” convalescence or long-term survival of humans (1970-2015) were selected as they were complaint with laboratory criteria of active lyssavirus infection. Children and teenagers were predominant in the analyzed group (85%). The cases were irregularly spread between the continents: Asia - 6 cases, North America - 6 cases, Africa - 2 cases and Europe - 1 case. India and the USA were on the top of the list of countries by the number of described cases. More than 60% humans were infected from dogs, three cases got infection from bats and 2 cases were allegedly associated with an unknown lyssavirus and an unidentified infection source. 70% cases were vaccinated and 10% cases were treated with gamma globulin before the disease onset. Serological tests for detection of antibodies to lyssaviruses in cerebrospinal fluid of infected humans were typically used for diagnostic laboratory verification. Less than 30% IFA and PCR positives were obtained. Lyssaviruses were never detected. Only 4 convalescent patients were treated using experimental protocols. 80% cases demonstrated severe neurological consequences, four (may be more) patients died afterwards within the period from two months to four years. Different perspectives on prospects of Milwaukee protocol use and other therapeutic techniques are given.

About the authors

A. E. Metlin

Federal Center for Animal Health

Author for correspondence.
Email: noemail@neicon.ru
Russian Federation

A. D. Botvinkin

Irkutstky State Medical University

Email: noemail@neicon.ru
Russian Federation

A. L. Elakov

D.I. Ivanovsky Institute of Virology, «National Research Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology named after honorary academician N.F. Gamaleya»

Email: alelakov@mail.ru
Russian Federation

K. N. Gruzdev

Federal Center for Animal Health

Email: noemail@neicon.ru
Russian Federation


  1. Hampson K., Coudeville L., Lembo T., Sambo M., Kieffer A., Attlan M., et al. Estimating the global burden of endemic canine rabies. PLoS Negl. Trop. Dis. 2015; 9(4): e0003709
  2. Селимов М.А. Пути ликвидации гидрофобии. М.; 1963
  3. Jackson A.C., Warrell M.J., Rupprecht C.E., Ertl H.C., Dietzschold B., O’Reilly M., et al. Management of rabies in humans. Clin. Infect. Dis. 2003; 36(1): 60-3
  4. Ющук Н.Д., Венгеров Ю.Я., ред. Инфекционные болезни: Национальное руководство. М.: ГЭОТАР-Медиа; 2009
  5. Jackson A.C. Therapy of Human Rabies. In: Jackson AC, ed. Rabies. Chapter 16. Boston: Academic Press; 2013: 575-89.
  6. Emmons R.W., Leonard L.L., DeGenaro F., Protas E.S., Bazeley P.L., Giammona S.T., et al. A case of human rabies with prolonged survival. Intervirology. 1973; 1(1): 60-72.
  7. Gode G.R., Raju A.V., Jayalakshmi T.S., Kaul H.L., Bhide N.K. Intensive care in rabies therapy. Clinical observations. Lancet. 1976; 2(7975): 6-8.
  8. Грибанова Л.Я., Рудаков В.А., Мальков Г.Б., Грибенча С.В., Селимов М.А. Абортивное бешенство у диких животных в эксперименте. В кн.: Тезисы конференции «Вопросы природной очаговости болезней». Выпуск 10. Алма-Ата; 1979: 183-4.
  9. Грибенча С.В., Селимов М.А., Первиков Ю.В. Нелетальное бешенство у белых мышей, зараженных различными штаммами вируса. В кн.: Материалы конференции «Актуальные вопросы вирусных инфекций». Алма-Ата; 1973: 143-4.
  10. Грибенча С.В., Баринский И.Ф. Влияние циклофосфана на воспроизведение в эксперименте абортивной и хронической форм бешенства. Вопросы вирусологии. 1982; 27(5): 586-9.
  11. Сафаров Р.К., Джмухадзе В.А. Нелетальное бешенство собак. Ветеринария. 1975; (9): 67.
  12. Bell J.F., Gonzalez M.A., Diaz A.M., Moore G.J. Nonfatal rabies in dogs: experimental studies and results of a survey. Am. J. Vet. Res. 1971; 32(12): 2049-58.
  13. Fekadu M., Baer G.M. Recovery from clinical rabies of 2 dogs inoculated with a rabies virus strain from Ethiopia. Am. J. Vet. Res. 1980; 41(10): 1632-4.
  14. Hamir A.N., Neizgoda M., Rupprecht C.E. Recovery from and clearance of rabies virus in domestic ferret. J. Amer. Assoc. Lab. Anim. Sci. 2011; 50(2): 248-51.
  15. Kesdangsakonwut S., Sunden Y., Aoshima K., Iwaki Y., Okumura M., Sawa H., et al. Survival of rabid rabbits after intrathecal immunization. Neuropathology. 2014; 34(3): 277-83.
  16. Подберезный Г.Г. Редкий случай легкой формы бешенства, закончившейся выздоровлением. В кн.: Сборник научных работ врачей Кировоградской области. Выпуск 2. Кировоград; 1958: 137-8
  17. Fuerst H.T. Recovery from rabies in man. JAMA. 1966; 197(3): 224.
  18. Hattwick M.A., Weis T.T., Stechschulte C.J., Baer G.M., Gregg M.B. Recovery from rabies. A case report. Ann. Intern. Med. 1972; 76(6): 931-42.
  19. Willoughby R.E., Tieves K.S., Hoffman G.M., Ghanayem N.S., Amlie-Lefond C.M., SchwabeM.J., et al. Survival after treatment of rabies with induction of coma. N. Engl. J. Med. 2005; 352(24): 2508-14.
  20. Subramaniam R. Human Rabies Survivors in India: An Emerging Paradox? PLoS Negl. Trop. Dis. 2016; 10(7): e0004774. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004774
  21. Jackson A.C. Current and future approaches to the therapy of human rabies. Antiviral Res. 2013; 99(1): 61-7.
  22. Jackson A.C. Recovery from rabies: a call to arms. J. Neurol. Sci. 2014; 339(1-2): 5-7.
  23. Weyer J., Msimang-Dermaux V., Paweska J.T., le Roux K., Govender P., Coertse J., et al. A case of human survival of rabies, South Africa. S. Afr. J. Infect. Dis. 2015; 1(1): 1-3.
  24. Wilde H., Hemachudha T. The “Milwaukee protocol” for treatment of human rabies is no longer valid. Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J. 2015; 34(6): 678-9.
  25. Porras C., Barboza J.J., Fuenzalida E., Adaros H.L., Oviedo A.M., Furst J. Recovery from rabies in man. Ann. Intern. Med. 1976; 85(1): 44-8.
  26. Tillotson J.R., Axelrod D., Lyman D.O. Epidemiologic notes and reports: Rabies in laboratory worker - New York. MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly Rep. 1977; 26(22): 183-4.
  27. Tillotson J.R., Axelrod D., Lyman D.O. Follow-up on rabies - New York. MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly Rep. 1977; 26: 249-50.
  28. Alvarez L., Fajardo R., Lopez E., Pedroza R., Hemachudha T., Kamolvarin N., et al. Partial recovery from rabies in a nine-year-old boy. Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J. 1994; 13(12): 1154-5.
  29. Madhusudana S.N., Nagaraj D., Uday M., Ratnavalli E., Kumar M.V. Partial recovery from rabies in a six-year-old girl. Int. J. Infect. Dis. 2002; 6(1): 85-6.
  30. Rubin J., David D., Willoughby R.E., Rupprecht C.E, Garcia C., Guarda D.C, et al. Applying the Milwaukee protocol to treat canine rabies in Equatorial Guinea. Scand. J. Infect. Dis. 2009; 41(5): 372-5.
  31. Ministerio da Saude in Brazil. Rabies, human survival, bat - Brazil: (Pernambuco). Available at: http://www.promedmail.org
  32. Caicedo Y., Paez A., Kuzmin I., Niezgoda M., Orciari L.A., Yager P.A., et al. Virology, immunology and pathology of human rabies during treatment. Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J. 2015; 34(5): 520-8.
  33. Karahocagil M.K., Akdeniz H., Aylan O., Sünnetçioğlu M., Ün H., Yapici K., et al. Complete recovery from clinical rabies: case report. Turkiye Klinikleri J. Med. Sci. 2013; 33(2): 547-52.
  34. Holzmann-Pazgal G., Wanger A., Degaffe G., Rose C., Heresi G., Amaya R., et al. Presumptive abortive human rabies - Texas, 2009. MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly Rep. 2010; 59(7): 185-90.
  35. Wiedeman J., Plant J., Glaser C., Messenger S., Wadford D., Sheriff H., et al. Recovery of a patient from clinical rabies - California, 2011. MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly Rep. 2012; 61(4): 61-5.
  36. Rawat A.K., Rao S.K. Survival of rabies patient. Indian Pediatr. 2011; 48(7): 574.
  37. Souza A., Madhusudana S.N. Survival from rabies encephalitis. J. Neurol. Sci. 2014; 339(1-2): 8-14.
  38. Netravathi M., Udani V., Mani R.S., Gadad V., Ashwini M.A., Bhat M., et al. Unique clinical and imaging findings in a first ever documented PCR positive rabies survival patient: A case report. J. Clin. Virol. 2015; 70: 83-8.
  39. Galvez S., Basque M., Contreras L., Merino C., Ahumada R., Jamett J., et al. Survivor of rabies encephalitis in Chile. In: Platform presentation at the XXIVth International Meeting on Research Advancees and Rabies Control in the Americas in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on October. Volume 27. Toronto; 2013.
  40. Karande S., Muranjan M., Mani R.S., Anand A.M., Amoghimath R., Sankhe S., et al. Atypical rabies encephalitis in a six-year-old boy: clinical, radiological, and laboratory findings. Int. J. Infect. Dis. 2015; 36: 1-3.
  41. Hindustan times. Thakur B.S. 2nd rabies survivor in country at P’kula hospital. Available at: Scholar http://www.hindustantimes.com/chandigarh/2nd-rabies-survivor-in-country-at-p-kula-hospital/story-QblNMMmnXcSynC21JPzE4O.html
  42. Kumar K.H., Ahmad F., Dutta V. Pituitary cachexia after rabies encephalitis. Neurol. India. 2015; 63(2): 255-6.
  43. Manoj S., Mukherjee A., Johri S., Kumar K.V. Recovery from rabies, a universally fatal disease. Mil. Med. Res. 2016; 3: 21. doi: 10.1186/s40779-016-0089-y
  44. Dacheux L., Reynes J.M., Buchy P., Sivuth O., Diop B.M., Rousset D., et al. A reliable diagnosis of human rabies based on analysis of skin biopsy specimens. Clin. Infect. Dis. 2008; 47(11): 1410-7.
  45. Wacharapluesadee S., Hemachudha T. Ante- and post-mortem diagnosis of rabies using nucleic acid-amplification tests. Expert Rev. Mol. Diagn. 2010; 10(2): 207-18.
  46. Mani R.S., Madhusudana S.N. Laboratory Diagnosis of Human Rabies: Recent Advances. Sci. World J. 2013; 2013: 569712.
  47. Schneider L.G. The cornea test: A new method for intravitam diagnosis of rabies. Zentralbl. Veterinarmed. B. 1969; 16(1): 24-3.
  48. Cifuentes E., Calderon E., Diglenga G. Rabies in a child diagnosed by a new intravitam method: The cornea test. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 1971; 74: 23-5.
  49. Spector S., Hodinka R., Young S., eds. Clinical Virology Manual. 3rd ed. Washington DC: ASM Press; 2000.
  50. Nagaraj T., Vasanth J., Desai A., Kamat A., Madhusudana S.N., Ravi V. Ante mortem diagnosis of human rabies using saliva samples: Comparison of real time and conventional RT-PCR techniques. J. Clin. Virol. 2006; 36(1): 17-23.
  51. Udow S.J., Marrie R.A., Jackson A.C. Clinical features of dog- and bat-acquired rabies in humans. Clin. Infect. Dis. 2013; 57: 689-96.
  52. Баширова Д.К., Хисматуллина Н.А., Шафеев М.Ш., Шакиров Т.Н., Убасев А.Г., Ходиерова И.Ю. и др. Прижизненная клинико-лабораторная диагностика гидрофобии. Казанский медицинский журнал. 2007; 88(5): 449-52.
  53. Фазылов В.Х., Муртазина Г.Х., Урманчеева Ю.Р., Мингажева Р.И. Диагностика бешенства (клинический случай). Практическая медицина. 2014; 83(7): 121-3.
  54. Хисматуллина Н.А., Гулюкин А.М., Гулюкин М.И., Иванов А.В., Сабирова В.В., Южаков А.Г. и др. Два случая гидрофобии в Республике Татарстан: прижизненная и постмортальная лабораторная диагностика. Вопросы вирусологии. 2015; 60(2): 18-24.
  55. Willoughby R.E. A cure for a rabies? Sci. Am. 2007; 296(4): 88-95.
  56. Willoughby R.E. Are we getting closer to the treatment of rabies? Future Virol. 2009; 4(6): 563-70.
  57. Willoughby R.E. Resistance to Rabies. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 2012; 87(2): 205.
  58. Aramburo A., Willoughby R.E., Bollen A.W., Glaser C.A., Hsieh C.J., Davis S.L., et al. Failure of the Milwaukee protocol in a child with rabies. Clin. Infect. Dis. 2011; 53(6): 572-4. doi: 10.1093/cid/cir483
  59. Hunter M., Johnson N., Hedderwick S., McCaughey C., Lowry K., McConville J., et al. Immunovirological correlates in human rabies treated with therapeutic coma. J. Med. Virol. 2010; 82(7): 1255-65.
  60. Гайдамович С.Я. К изучению некоторых случаев бешенства у человека. В кн.: Косяков П.Н., Шен Р.М., Горшунова Л.П., ред. Бешенство (этиология, патогенез, профилактика). М.: Медгиз; 1958: 99-102

Copyright (c) 2019 Metlin A.E., Botvinkin A.D., Elakov A.L., Gruzdev K.N.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

СМИ зарегистрировано Федеральной службой по надзору в сфере связи, информационных технологий и массовых коммуникаций (Роскомнадзор).
Регистрационный номер и дата принятия решения о регистрации СМИ: серия ПИ № ФС77-77676 от 29.01.2020.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies