Ganesh Raj Pant
Associated Professor, University of Agriculture and Forestry, Nepal.
Currently Ganesh Raj Pant is an Adjunct Faculty or Visiting Associated Professor at the Faculty of Animal Science, Veterinary Science and Fisheries, in the University of Agriculture and Forestry, Rampur, Chitawn, Nepal. Previously he was the Chief Veterinary Officer within the Department of Livestock Services, Ministry of Agriculture Development, Government of Nepal. He worked in his country from 1983 to 2014 and implemented animal production and animal health program successfully. He worked as a chief of Central Veterinary Laboratory and Rabies Vaccine Production Laboratory in Kathmandu where he studied Japanese encephalitis, Rabies, Rinderpest and Avian Influenza. He is very keen in field investigation and laboratory diagnosis of zoonotic disease as well as production of cell culture rabies vaccine in Nepal. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science from India and Master’s in Tropical Veterinary Science from UK. He is into the research work and has published 15 research articles in national and international journals.
A serological study to know the antibody titer against rabies virus in human beings, who are at occupational risk, was conducted in Nepal in 2014. A total 44 serum samples were collected out of which 21 samples were collected from medical professionals (working at Sukraraj Tropical Hospital) and 23 were collected from veterinary professionals (working at Central Veterinary Hospital, Central Veterinary Laboratory and Rabies Vaccine Production Laboratory) in Kathmandu. Among the 44 samples, 4 were collected from unvaccinated persons. The other 40 peoples’ samples were vaccinated with inactivated rabies cell-culture vaccine 6 months to 5 years ago. All samples were subjected to the Rabies Fluorescent Focus inhibition Test (RFFIT) test in Centre for Disease Control, Atlanta, USA. The antibody level of 7 persons was found to be less than the recommended titer of 0.5 IU/ml. Six medical professionals and one veterinary professional had a low rabies virus neutralizing antibody titer. The 4 samples collected from unvaccinated persons, and 3 collected from vaccinated persons (7.5%) had a titer below 0.5 IU/ml. This study shows that medical and veterinary professionals who are responsible to nurse or handle rabies patients, rabid animals or rabies virus are still at high risk. This underscores the importance of recommendations for regular serological testing of occupationally exposed individuals and rabies vaccine booster when necessary.