Transmission Dynamics and Prospects for the Elimination of Canine Rabies

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA.
PLoS Biology (Impact Factor: 9.34). 03/2009; 7(3):e53. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000053
Source: PubMed


Author Summary

Canine rabies has been successfully eliminated from Western Europe and North America, but in the developing world, someone dies every ten minutes from this horrific disease, which is primarily spread by domestic dogs. A quantitative understanding of rabies transmission dynamics in domestic dog populations is crucial to determining whether global elimination can be achieved. The unique pathology of rabies allowed us to trace case-to-case transmission directly, during a rabies outbreak in northern Tanzania. From these unusual data, we generated a detailed analysis of rabies transmission biology and found evidence for surprisingly low levels of transmission. We also analysed outbreak data from around the world and found that the transmission of canine rabies has been inherently low throughout its global historic range, explaining the success of control efforts in developed countries. However, we show that when birth and death rates in domestic dog populations are high, such as in our study populations in Tanzania, it is more difficult to maintain population-level immunity in between vaccination campaigns. Nonetheless, we conclude that, although the level of vaccination coverage required is higher than would be predicted from naïve transmission models, global elimination of canine rabies can be achieved through appropriately designed, sustained domestic dog vaccination campaigns.

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    • "In more than 99% of all cases of human rabies, the virus is transmitted directly by dogs (Knobel et al., 2005). Canine rabies can be eliminated, as demonstrated in North America, Western Europe, Japan, areas of South America and parts of Asia (Hampson et al., 2009). Advancements in post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) mean that if a person can access the appropriate post exposure vaccination and immunoglobulin therapy in a timely manner they are likely to survive (Hampson et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Surveillance systems for rabies in endemic regions are often subject to severe constraints in terms of resources. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) propose the use of an active surveillance system to substantiate claims of disease freedom, including rabies. However, many countries do not have the resources to establish active surveillance systems for rabies and the testing of dead dogs poses logistical challenges. This paper explores the potential of using a scenario tree model parameterised with data collected via questionnaires and interviews to estimate the sensitivity of passive surveillance, assessing its potential as a viable low-cost alternative to active surveillance systems. The results of this explorative study illustrated that given a large enough sample size, in this case the entire population of Colombo City, the sensitivity of passive surveillance can be 100% even at a low disease prevalence (0.1%), despite the low sensitivity of individual surveillance components (mean values in the range 4.077×10(-5)-1.834×10(-3) at 1% prevalence). In addition, logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with increased recognition of rabies in dogs and reporting of rabies suspect dogs. Increased recognition was observed amongst dog owners (OR 3.8 (CI, 1.3-10.8)), people previously bitten by dogs (OR 5.9 (CI, 2.2-15.9)) and people who believed they had seen suspect dogs in the past (OR 4.7 (CI, 1.8-12.9)). Increased likelihood of reporting suspect dogs was observed amongst dog owners (OR 5.3 (CI, 1.1-25)). Further work is required to validate the data collection tool and the assumptions made in the model with respect to sample size in order to develop a robust methodology for evaluating passive rabies surveillance. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Preventive Veterinary Medicine 07/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2015.06.016 · 2.17 Impact Factor
    • "While studies on these demographic rates in dog populations are limited, data from northern Tanzania show that attaining 60% 0167-5877/© 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. vaccination coverage during annual campaigns will be sufficient to prevent vaccination coverage falling below this critical threshold in the period between campaigns (Hampson et al., 2009). This is in line with the empirically-derived recommendation of 70% vaccination coverage in dogs to control rabies (WHO, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Rabies transmitted by domestic dogs is a serious yet neglected public health threat in many underserved communities in Africa and Asia. Achieving 70% vaccination coverage in dog populations through annual mass vaccination campaigns is an effective means of controlling the disease in these communities. Evaluating the extent to which this target coverage is achieved requires either accurate pre-campaign estimates of the dog population size or accurate estimates of the coverage attained by conducting post-vaccination surveys. Short-term marking of dogs by applying visible marks may be useful to achieve these estimates, but will be affected by the performance of the marking methods. We evaluated the longevity and visibility of two readily-available livestock marking methods applied to owned, free roaming dogs.
    Preventive Veterinary Medicine 06/2015; 121(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2015.05.008 · 2.17 Impact Factor
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    • "Canine rabies is responsible for more than 99% of the human cases in Asia and Africa (Cleaveland et al., 2006). In the United States, dog rabies has been largely brought under control through pet vaccination programs and the number of human cases has declined dramatically during the past 60 years (Hampson et al., 2009). Most of the human cases in the USA have been associated with RABV found in bats, particularly the silver-haired bats with no obvious recognized exposure history (Messenger et al., 2003; Morimoto et al., 1996). "
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    ABSTRACT: Rabies virus (RABV) is a neurotropic virus that causes fatal disease in humans and animals. Currently there is no cure for rabies once clinical signs appear. It is believed that once RABV enters the central nervous system (CNS), virus neutralizing antibodies (VNAs) in the periphery cannot pass through the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and into the CNS. Furthermore, it has been hypothesized that VNAs produced in the CNS by invading B cells, rather than those produced in the periphery and then transported into the CNS, are important in clearing RABV from the CNS. In the present study, mouse serum containing VNA was administered intravenously into mice after infection with wild-type RABV. Our studies demonstrate that exogenous administration of VNAs is crucial in the clearance of RABV from the brain and prevent the development of rabies in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised mice as long as the BBB permeability remains enhanced. This present study therefore provides a foundation for the possibility of developing VNA therapy for clinical rabies in humans.
    Antiviral Research 10/2014; 110. DOI:10.1016/j.antiviral.2014.07.013 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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