PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (921315)

Clipboard (0)
None

Related Articles

1.  Implementation of an Intersectoral Program to Eliminate Human and Canine Rabies: The Bohol Rabies Prevention and Elimination Project 
Background
The province of Bohol, located in the Visayas islands region in the Philippines has a human population of 1.13 million and was the 4th highest region for human rabies deaths in the country, averaging 10 per year, prior to the initiation of the Bohol Rabies Prevention and Elimination Project (BRPEP).
Aims
The BRPEP was initiated in 2007 with the goal of building a sustainable program that would prevent human rabies by eliminating rabies at its source, in dogs, by 2010. This goal was in line with the Philippine National Rabies Program whose objective is to eliminate rabies by 2020.
Methods
The intersectoral BRPEP was launched in 2007 and integrated the expertise and resources from the sectors of agriculture, public health and safety, education, environment, legal affairs, interior and local government. The program included: increasing local community involvement; implementing dog population control; conducting mass dog vaccination; improving dog bite management; instituting veterinary quarantine; and improving diagnostic capability, surveillance and monitoring. Funding was secured from the national government, provincial, municipal and village units, dog owners, NGOs, the regional office of the WHO, the UBS Optimus Foundation, and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control. The BRPEP was managed by the Bohol Rabies Prevention and Eradication Council (BRPEC) under the jurisdiction of the Governor of Bohol. Parallel organizations were created at the municipal level and village level. Community volunteers facilitated the institution of the program. Dog population surveys were conducted to plan for sufficient resources to vaccinate the required 70% of the dogs living in the province. Two island-wide mass vaccination campaigns were conducted followed by “catch up” vaccination campaigns. Registration of dogs was implemented including a small fee that was rolled back into the program to maintain sustainability. Children were educated by introducing rabies prevention modules into all elementary schools in Bohol. Existing public health legislation at the national, provincial, and municipal level strengthened the enforcement of activities. A Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) survey was conducted in 2009 to evaluate the educational knowledge of the population. Increased surveillance was instituted to ensure that dogs traveling into and out of the province were vaccinated against rabies. Human and animal cases of rabies were reported to provincial and national authorities.
Key Results
Within the first 18 months of the BRPEP, human rabies deaths had decreased annually from 0.77 to 0.37 to zero per 100,000 population from 2007–2009. Between October 2008 and November 2010 no human and animal cases were detected. Increased surveillance on the island detected one suspected human rabies case in November 2010 and one confirmed case of canine rabies in April 2011. Two mass vaccination campaigns conducted in 2007 and 2008 successfully registered and vaccinated 44% and 70% of the dogs on the island. The additional surveillance activities enabled a mobilization of mop up vaccination activities in the region where the human and canine case was located. Due to the increased effective and continuous surveillance activities, rabies was stopped before it could spread to other areas on the island. The program costs totaled USD 450,000. Registration fees collected to maintain the program amounted to USD 105,740 and were re-allocated back into the community to sustain the program.
Author Summary
The Province of Bohol, Philippines has eliminated dog and human rabies in less than three years by empowering the community and implementing an intersectoral strategy. In 2006, Bohol ranked 4th highest in the Philippines for human rabies, averaging 10 deaths per year. Launched in 2007, the program utilized a social awareness campaign, dog population control, mass dog vaccination campaigns, improved dog bite management and veterinary quarantine, a new diagnostic laboratory, expanded surveillance, and the inclusion of education modules into the school curriculum. Improving community compliance to existing national and provincial rabies laws and engaging volunteers to help conduct the project was a key to success. The program, led by the Governor of Bohol, was administered through a group of departments working together at a provincial and local level, and supervised through the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian. Financial support came through the Governor and several NGOs including the Global Alliance for Rabies Control. The program is self-sustaining, through a small dog registration fee fed back into the program, through the continuing education of children in their classrooms, and through the dedicated efforts of over 15,000 staff and volunteers throughout the island.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001891
PMCID: PMC3516573  PMID: 23236525
2.  Twelve Years of Rabies Surveillance in Sri Lanka, 1999–2010 
Background
Rabies is endemic in Sri Lanka, but little is known about the temporal and spatial trends of rabies in this country. Knowing these trends may provide insight into past control efforts and serve as the basis for future control measures. In this study, we analyzed distribution of rabies in humans and animals over a period of 12 years in Sri Lanka.
Methods
Accumulated data from 1999 through 2010 compiled by the Department of Rabies Diagnosis and Research, Medical Research Institute (MRI), Colombo, were used in this study.
Results
The yearly mean percentage of rabies-positive sample was 62.4% (47.6–75.9%). Three-fourths of the rabies-positive samples were from the Colombo, Gampaha, and Kalutara districts in Western province, followed by Galle in Southern province. A high percentage of the rabies samples were from dogs (85.2%), followed by cats (7.9%), humans (3.8%), wild animals (2.0%), and livestock (1.1%). Among wild animals, mongooses were the main victims followed by civets. The number of suspect human rabies cases decreased gradually in Sri Lanka, although the number of human samples submitted for laboratory confirmation increased.
Conclusions
The number of rabid dogs has remained relatively unchanged, but the number of suspect human rabies is decreasing gradually in Sri Lanka. These findings indicate successful use of postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) by animal bite victims and increased rabies awareness. PEP is free of charge and is supplied through government hospitals by the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka. Our survey shows that most positive samples were received from Western and Southern provinces, possibly because of the ease of transporting samples to the laboratory. Submissions of wild animal and livestock samples should be increased by creating more awareness among the public. Better rabies surveillance will require introduction of molecular methods for detection and the establishment of more regional rabies diagnostic laboratories.
Author Summary
Rabies is a public health concern in Sri Lanka. The incidence of dog rabies remains unchanged, but the incidence of suspect human rabies is decreasing gradually in Sri Lanka. This finding indicates the effects of improved access to postexposure prophylaxis by animal bite victims and increased rabies awareness. As in other rabies-endemic countries, in Sri Lanka, human rabies is transmitted mainly by dogs, although domestic and wild animals have been diagnosed rabid, and can pose a risk of exposure to humans. In this study, we analyzed 12 years of data accumulated in the national reference laboratory of Sri Lanka to identify the trends of rabies in this country. This study showed that rabies has been recorded mainly in Western and Southern Provinces of Sri Lanka, possibly because of the ease of communication with rabies diagnostic laboratories from these areas. Regional rabies diagnosis laboratories should be established to improve surveillance of rabies in Sri Lanka. There were few submitted animal samples from livestock and wild animals, indicating that greater awareness is needed among the public regarding the need to submit suspect rabid animals for diagnostic evaluation. These data could help policy makers improve rabies prevention and to control rabies in Sri Lanka.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003205
PMCID: PMC4191952  PMID: 25299511
3.  Designing Programs for Eliminating Canine Rabies from Islands: Bali, Indonesia as a Case Study 
Background
Canine rabies is one of the most important and feared zoonotic diseases in the world. In some regions rabies elimination is being successfully coordinated, whereas in others rabies is endemic and continues to spread to uninfected areas. As epidemics emerge, both accepted and contentious control methods are used, as questions remain over the most effective strategy to eliminate rabies. The Indonesian island of Bali was rabies-free until 2008 when an epidemic in domestic dogs began, resulting in the deaths of over 100 people. Here we analyze data from the epidemic and compare the effectiveness of control methods at eliminating rabies.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Using data from Bali, we estimated the basic reproductive number, R0, of rabies in dogs, to be ∼1·2, almost identical to that obtained in ten–fold less dense dog populations and suggesting rabies will not be effectively controlled by reducing dog density. We then developed a model to compare options for mass dog vaccination. Comprehensive high coverage was the single most important factor for achieving elimination, with omission of even small areas (<0.5% of the dog population) jeopardizing success. Parameterizing the model with data from the 2010 and 2011 vaccination campaigns, we show that a comprehensive high coverage campaign in 2012 would likely result in elimination, saving ∼550 human lives and ∼$15 million in prophylaxis costs over the next ten years.
Conclusions/Significance
The elimination of rabies from Bali will not be achieved through achievable reductions in dog density. To ensure elimination, concerted high coverage, repeated, mass dog vaccination campaigns are necessary and the cooperation of all regions of the island is critical. Momentum is building towards development of a strategy for the global elimination of canine rabies, and this study offers valuable new insights about the dynamics and control of this disease, with immediate practical relevance.
Author Summary
Canine rabies continues to cause tens of thousands of horrific deaths worldwide, primarily in Asia and Africa. Momentum is building towards development of a global elimination strategy for canine rabies, but questions remain over how best to eliminate rabies epidemics. This paper uses data generated from the recent high-profile rabies outbreak in Bali, Indonesia to evaluate different control options. We find that, despite high dog densities, the spread of rabies on the island was remarkably similar to canine rabies spread elsewhere, suggesting that the practice of dog culling is an ineffective control strategy. We then simulate rabies transmission and spread across the island and compare the effectiveness of mass dog vaccination strategies in terms of how many lives are saved and how long it will take for elimination to be achieved. We find that the effectiveness of campaigns is not improved by being more reactive or synchronized but depends almost entirely upon reaching sufficient coverage (70%) across the population in successive campaigns. Even small ‘gaps’ in vaccination coverage can significantly impede the prospects of elimination. The outputs of this study provide the kind of evidence needed by rabies program coordinators to help design effective national control programmes, and to build the evidence-base to drive forward the development and implementation of effective global rabies policy.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002372
PMCID: PMC3749988  PMID: 23991233
4.  The Feasibility of Canine Rabies Elimination in Africa: Dispelling Doubts with Data 
Background
Canine rabies causes many thousands of human deaths every year in Africa, and continues to increase throughout much of the continent.
Methodology/Principal Findings
This paper identifies four common reasons given for the lack of effective canine rabies control in Africa: (a) a low priority given for disease control as a result of lack of awareness of the rabies burden; (b) epidemiological constraints such as uncertainties about the required levels of vaccination coverage and the possibility of sustained cycles of infection in wildlife; (c) operational constraints including accessibility of dogs for vaccination and insufficient knowledge of dog population sizes for planning of vaccination campaigns; and (d) limited resources for implementation of rabies surveillance and control. We address each of these issues in turn, presenting data from field studies and modelling approaches used in Tanzania, including burden of disease evaluations, detailed epidemiological studies, operational data from vaccination campaigns in different demographic and ecological settings, and economic analyses of the cost-effectiveness of dog vaccination for human rabies prevention.
Conclusions/Significance
We conclude that there are no insurmountable problems to canine rabies control in most of Africa; that elimination of canine rabies is epidemiologically and practically feasible through mass vaccination of domestic dogs; and that domestic dog vaccination provides a cost-effective approach to the prevention and elimination of human rabies deaths.
Author Summary
Elimination of canine rabies has been achieved in some parts of the world, but the disease still kills many thousands of people each year in Africa. Here we counter common arguments given for the lack of effective canine rabies control in Africa presenting detailed data from a range of settings. We conclude that (1) rabies substantially affects public and animal health sectors, hence regional and national priorities for control ought to be higher, (2) for practical purposes domestic dogs are the sole maintenance hosts and main source of infection for humans throughout most of Africa and Asia and sufficient levels of vaccination coverage in domestic dog populations should lead to elimination of canine rabies in most areas, (3) the vast majority of domestic dog populations across sub-Saharan Africa are accessible for vaccination with community sensitization being of paramount importance for the success of these programs, (4) improved local capacity in rabies surveillance and diagnostics will help evaluate the impact of control and elimination efforts, and (5) sustainable resources for effective dog vaccination campaigns are likely to be available through the development of intersectoral financing schemes involving both medical and veterinary sectors.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000626
PMCID: PMC2826407  PMID: 20186330
5.  Rabies Post-Exposure Prophylaxis of Overseas Travelers in the International Travel Clinic of the National Medical Center from 2006 to 2012, Korea 
Infection & Chemotherapy  2014;46(1):13-20.
Background
Rabies is an acute fatal viral disease generally transmitted from infected animals to humans through bites. It is distributed worldwide. The number of Korean people traveling to rabies-endemic countries and being bitten by infected animals has been increasing recently. Therefore, we investigated international travelers who received rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) at the National Medical Center (NMC) and compared the data with those of other clinics.
Materials and Methods
This study was a retrospective review of 106 patients who visited the International Travel Clinic of the NMC and received rabies PEP between July 2006 and December 2012. During that period, we used the Essen intramuscular regimen protocol. Complete rabies PEP was defined as 5 doses of rabies vaccination with or without rabies immunoglobulin (RIG) administration according to the World Health Organization guidelines.
Results
A total 106 cases documented within the period of 6 years were selected, including 10 children younger than 15 years and 96 older than 15 years. The mean age of the patients who received PEP was 33.4 years. Of the patients, 53 were male and another 53 were female. Most of the exposures occurred in Southeast Asia, predominantly from dog bites (71, 66.9%). The lower extremities were the most frequent site of exposure (37, 34.9%). All the patients began receiving rabies vaccination for prophylaxis after exposure, and 51 received rabies vaccination with RIG. Meanwhile, 74 cases (69.8%) initiated rabies vaccination overseas, but only 10 of them received RIG while overseas; the remaining 32 (30.2%) initiated rabies vaccination after returning to Korea. Within 7 days, all the children and 74 adults received their first rabies vaccination. Six adults initiated first rabies vaccination after 1 week. Eleven of the 106 patients stopped PEP before 5 doses, among whom 4 (1 child and 3 adults) discontinued vaccination after confirming that the biting animal remained healthy throughout 10 days of observation. None of the patients had been previously vaccinated against rabies.
Conclusions
Most of the overseas travelers who visited our clinic after being bitten by suspected rabid animals received appropriate rabies PEP. However, the interval between exposure and first rabies vaccination was often delayed. Tourists who plan to travel in rabies enzootic regions need to be aware that prompt initiation of PEP is important to reduce the risk for developing human rabies.
doi:10.3947/ic.2014.46.1.13
PMCID: PMC3970303  PMID: 24693465
Rabies; Post-exposure prophylaxis; Vaccination
6.  National Borders Effectively Halt the Spread of Rabies: The Current Rabies Epidemic in China Is Dislocated from Cases in Neighboring Countries 
China has seen a massive resurgence of rabies cases in the last 15 years with more than 25,000 human fatalities. Initial cases were reported in the southwest but are now reported in almost every province. There have been several phylogenetic investigations into the origin and spread of the virus within China but few reports investigating the impact of the epidemic on neighboring countries. We therefore collected nucleoprotein sequences from China and South East Asia and investigated their phylogenetic and phylogeographic relationship. Our results indicate that within South East Asia, isolates mainly cluster according to their geographic origin. We found evidence of sporadic exchange of strains between neighboring countries, but it appears that the major strain responsible for the current Chinese epidemic has not been exported. This suggests that national geographical boundaries and border controls are effective at halting the spread of rabies from China into adjacent regions. We further investigated the geographic structure of Chinese sequences and found that the current epidemic is dominated by variant strains that were likely present at low levels in previous domestic epidemics. We also identified epidemiological linkages between high incidence provinces consistent with observations based on surveillance data from human rabies cases.
Author Summary
Rabies as a fatal zoonotic disease continues to be a public threat to global public health. After India, China reports the second highest number of human cases, with more than 117,500 deaths and three major epidemics since 1950. China remains in the middle of the third epidemic. In this work we investigate the impact of China on rabies in South East (SE) Asia. We collected nucleoprotein sequences from samples isolated throughout SE Asia and investigated their phylogenetic and geographic relationships. Our results indicate that clear geographic patterns exist within rabies virus in SE Asia, with isolates mainly clustered according to their geographic origin. While we found evidence of the sporadic exchange of strains between neighboring countries, the major strain responsible for the current Chinese epidemic does not appear to spread to neighboring countries. Our findings suggest that national geographical boundaries and border controls act as effective barriers to halt the spread of rabies from China into adjacent regions. We further investigated the geographic structure of Chinese sequences and found the current epidemic is dominated by variant strains that likely evolved from previous domestic epidemics. Our study provides valuable insight for rabies control and prevention in China and SE Asia.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002039
PMCID: PMC3561166  PMID: 23383359
7.  Recent Emergence and Spread of an Arctic-Related Phylogenetic Lineage of Rabies Virus in Nepal 
Rabies is a zoonotic disease that is endemic in many parts of the developing world, especially in Africa and Asia. However its epidemiology remains largely unappreciated in much of these regions, such as in Nepal, where limited information is available about the spatiotemporal dynamics of the main etiological agent, the rabies virus (RABV). In this study, we describe for the first time the phylogenetic diversity and evolution of RABV circulating in Nepal, as well as their geographical relationships within the broader region. A total of 24 new isolates obtained from Nepal and collected from 2003 to 2011 were full-length sequenced for both the nucleoprotein and the glycoprotein genes, and analysed using neighbour-joining and maximum-likelihood phylogenetic methods with representative viruses from all over the world, including new related RABV strains from neighbouring or more distant countries (Afghanistan, Greenland, Iran, Russia and USA). Despite Nepal's limited land surface and its particular geographical position within the Indian subcontinent, our study revealed the presence of a surprising wide genetic diversity of RABV, with the co-existence of three different phylogenetic groups: an Indian subcontinent clade and two different Arctic-like sub-clades within the Arctic-related clade. This observation suggests at least two independent episodes of rabies introduction from neighbouring countries. In addition, specific phylogenetic and temporal evolution analysis of viruses within the Arctic-related clade has identified a new recently emerged RABV lineage we named as the Arctic-like 3 (AL-3) sub-clade that is already widely spread in Nepal.
Author Summary
Rabies is endemic in most Asian countries and represents a serious public health issue, with an estimated 31,000 people dying each year of this disease. The majority of human cases are transmitted by domestic dogs, which act as the principal reservoir host and vector. However, molecular epidemiology and evolutionary dynamics of the main etiological agent, the rabies virus (RABV), remains largely unappreciated in some regions such as in Nepal. Based on a subset of 24 new Nepalese isolates collected from 2003 to 2011 and representative RABV strains at a global scale, phylogenetic analysis based on the complete nucleoprotein and glycoprotein genes sequences revealed the presence of a surprising wide genetic diversity of RABV circulating in this country. The presence of three different co-existing phylogenetic groups was identified: an Indian subcontinent clade and two different Arctic-like sub-clades within the Arctic-related clade, namely Arctic-like (AL)-1, lineage a (AL-1a), and AL-3. Among these clusters, the AL-3 sub-clade appears as the major Nepalese phylogroup which emerged relatively recently in this country, within the last 30 years. These data has raised some concerns about the exchange of RABV between different countries, and provided key elements for implementation of effective control measures of rabies in Nepal.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002560
PMCID: PMC3836727  PMID: 24278494
8.  Dog Bites in Humans and Estimating Human Rabies Mortality in Rabies Endemic Areas of Bhutan 
Background
Dog bites in humans are a public health problem worldwide. The issues of increasing stray dog populations, rabies outbreaks, and the risk of dogs biting humans have been frequently reported by the media in Bhutan. This study aimed to estimate the bite incidence and identify the risk factors for dog bites in humans, and to estimate human deaths from rabies in rabies endemic south Bhutan.
Methods
A hospital-based questionnaire survey was conducted during 2009–2010 among dog bites victims who visited three hospitals in Bhutan for anti-rabies vaccine injection. Decision tree modeling was used to estimate human deaths from rabies following dog bite injuries in two rabies endemic areas of south Bhutan.
Results
Three hundred and twenty four dog bite victims were interviewed. The annual incidence of dog bites differed between the hospital catchment areas: 869.8 (95% CI: 722.8–1022.5), 293.8 (240–358.2) and 284.8 (251.2–323) per 100,000 people in Gelephu, Phuentsholing and Thimphu, respectively. Males (62%) were more at risk than females (P<0.001). Children aged 5–9 years were bitten more than other age groups. The majority of victims (71%) were bitten by stray dogs. No direct fatal injury was reported. In two hospital areas (Gelephu and Phuentsholing) in south Bhutan the annual incidence of death from rabies was 3.14 (95% CI: 1.57–6.29) per 100,000 population. The decision tree model predicted an equivalent annual incidence of 4.67 (95% CI: 2.53–7.53) deaths/100,000 population at risk. In the absence of post exposure prophylaxis, the model predicted 19.24 (95% CI: 13.69–25.14) deaths/year in these two areas.
Conclusions
Increased educational awareness of people about the risk of dog bites and rabies is necessary, particularly for children in rabies endemic areas of Bhutan.
Author Summary
Dog bites in humans are a public health problem worldwide. We conducted a hospital based questionnaire survey and described the incidence and risk factors for human dog bites in Bhutan. We also estimated the human death rate attributable to rabies in two rabies endemic areas of south Bhutan. Our study shows that dog bites incidents in humans are common in the survey areas. There were significant gender and age differences in bite incidents; males and the children are affected the most. The majority of the victims were bitten by stray dogs, increasing the risk of rabies infection if not treated in time. Our decision tree model predicted 2.23 (95% CI: 1.20–3.59) human deaths from rabies/year, equivalent to an annual incidence of 4.67 (95% CI: 2.53–7.53) deaths/100,000 in the two rabies endemic areas of south Bhutan. In the absence of post exposure prophylaxis, the model predicted 19.24 (95% CI: 13.69–25.14) deaths/year in these two areas. The public should be encouraged to visit hospitals for post exposure prophylaxis following dog bite injury in south Bhutan.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001391
PMCID: PMC3222627  PMID: 22132247
9.  Rabies in Nonhuman Primates and Potential for Transmission to Humans: A Literature Review and Examination of Selected French National Data 
Background
The nonhuman primate (NHP)-related injuries in rabies-enzootic countries is a public health problem of increasing importance. The aims of this work are to collect data concerning rabies transmission from NHPs to humans; to collate medical practices regarding rabies postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) in different countries, and to provide an evidence base to support the decision to apply rabies PEP in this context.
Methodology
To retrieve information, we conducted a literature search from 1960 to January 2013. All reports of rabies in NHPs and rabies transmission to humans by infected NHPs were included. Also included were studies of travelers seeking care for rabies PEP in various settings.
Data collected by the French National Reference Centre for Rabies concerning NHPs submitted for rabies diagnosis in France and human rabies exposure to NHPs in travelers returning to France were analyzed for the periods 1999–2012 and 1994–2011, respectively.
Principal findings
A total of 159 reports of rabies in NHPs have been retrieved from various sources in South America, Africa, and Asia, including 13 cases in animals imported to Europe and the US. 134 were laboratory confirmed cases. 25 cases of human rabies following NHP-related injuries were reported, including 20 from Brazil. Among more than 2000 international travelers from various settings, the proportion of injuries related to NHP exposures was about 31%. NHPs rank second, following dogs in most studies and first in studies conducted in travelers returning from Southeast Asia. In France, 15.6% of 1606 travelers seeking PEP for exposure to any animal were injured by monkeys.
Conclusions/significance
Although less frequently reported in published literature than human rabies, confirmed rabies cases in NHPs occur. The occurrence of documented transmission of rabies from NHPs to human suggests that rabies PEP is indicated in patients injured by NHPs in rabies-enzootic countries.
Author Summary
No international consensus or even a consensus among existing national recommendations about rabies postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) following a nonhuman primate (NHP)-related injury currently exists. Epidemiologic studies and reports collated in this review indicate that the number of rabies case reported in NHPs are rare compared with humans. This finding might be because of a lower contact rate of NHPs with rabid reservoir but also very likely because of underreporting. Nevertheless, documented cases and subsequent transmission to humans have been reported from various sources in South America, Africa, and Asia. Further, international travelers often report NHP-related injuries and NHPs can be close to humans. Little is currently known of the pathobiology of rabies virus shedding in primates, which implies that rabies PEP and administration of rabies immunoglobulin should be considered in patients with a possible exposure.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002863
PMCID: PMC4022521  PMID: 24831694
10.  Transmission Dynamics and Prospects for the Elimination of Canine Rabies 
PLoS Biology  2009;7(3):e1000053.
Rabies has been eliminated from domestic dog populations in Western Europe and North America, but continues to kill many thousands of people throughout Africa and Asia every year. A quantitative understanding of transmission dynamics in domestic dog populations provides critical information to assess whether global elimination of canine rabies is possible. We report extensive observations of individual rabid animals in Tanzania and generate a uniquely detailed analysis of transmission biology, which explains important epidemiological features, including the level of variation in epidemic trajectories. We found that the basic reproductive number for rabies, R0, is very low in our study area in rural Africa (∼1.2) and throughout its historic global range (<2). This finding provides strong support for the feasibility of controlling endemic canine rabies by vaccination, even near wildlife areas with large wild carnivore populations. However, we show that rapid turnover of domestic dog populations has been a major obstacle to successful control in developing countries, thus regular pulse vaccinations will be required to maintain population-level immunity between campaigns. Nonetheless our analyses suggest that with sustained, international commitment, global elimination of rabies from domestic dog populations, the most dangerous vector to humans, is a realistic goal.
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.
Low transmission rates in rural Africa and elsewhere suggest that sustained, appropriately designed domestic dog vaccination campaigns could lead to global elimination of canine rabies, which would save over 50,000 human lives per year.
doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000053
PMCID: PMC2653555  PMID: 19278295
11.  Progress towards eliminating canine rabies: policies and perspectives from Latin America and the Caribbean 
Human rabies transmitted by dogs is considered a neglected disease that can be eliminated in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) by 2015. The aim of this paper is to discuss canine rabies policies and projections for LAC regarding current strategies for achieving this target and to critically review the political, economic and geographical factors related to the successful elimination of this deadly disease in the context of the difficulties and challenges of the region. The strong political and technical commitment to control rabies in LAC in the 1980s, started with the regional programme coordinated by the Pan American Health Organization. National and subnational programmes involve a range of strategies including mass canine vaccination with more than 51 million doses of canine vaccine produced annually, pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis, improvements in disease diagnosis and intensive surveillance. Rabies incidence in LAC has dramatically declined over the last few decades, with laboratory confirmed dog rabies cases decreasing from approximately 25 000 in 1980 to less than 300 in 2010. Dog-transmitted human rabies cases also decreased from 350 to less than 10 during the same period. Several countries have been declared free of human cases of dog-transmitted rabies, and from the 35 countries in the Americas, there is now only notification of human rabies transmitted by dogs in seven countries (Bolivia, Peru, Honduras, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and some states in north and northeast Brazil). Here, we emphasize the importance of the political commitment in the final progression towards disease elimination. The availability of strategies for rabies control, the experience of most countries in the region and the historical ties of solidarity between countries with the support of the scientific community are evidence to affirm that the elimination of dog-transmitted rabies can be achieved in the short term. The final efforts to confront the remaining obstacles, like achieving and sustaining high vaccination coverage in communities that are most impoverished or in remote locations, are faced by countries that struggle to allocate sufficient financial and human resources for rabies control. Continent-wide cooperation is therefore required in the final efforts to secure the free status of remaining countries in the Americas, which is key to the regional elimination of human rabies transmitted by dogs.
doi:10.1098/rstb.2012.0143
PMCID: PMC3720041  PMID: 23798691
zoonosis; rabies; prevention and control; canine; Latin America; Caribbean
12.  Ferret badger rabies origin and its revisited importance as potential source of rabies transmission in Southeast China 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:234.
Background
The frequent occurrence of ferret badger-associated human rabies cases in southeast China highlights the lack of laboratory-based surveillance and urges revisiting the potential importance of this animal in rabies transmission. To determine if the ferret badgers actually contribute to human and dog rabies cases, and the possible origin of the ferret badger-associated rabies in the region, an active rabies survey was conducted to determine the frequency of rabies infection and seroprevalence in dogs and ferret badgers.
Methods
A retrospective survey on rabies epidemics was performed in Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Anhui provinces in southeast China. The brain tissues from ferret badgers and dogs were assayed by fluorescent antibody test. Rabies virus was isolated and sequenced for phylogenetic analysis. The sera from ferret badgers and dogs were titrated using rabies virus neutralizing antibodies (VNA) test.
Results
The ferret badgers presented a higher percentage of rabies seroconversion than dogs did in the endemic region, reaching a maximum of 95% in the collected samples. Nine ferret badger-associated rabies viruses were isolated, sequenced, and were phylogenetically clustered as a separate group. Nucleotide sequence revealed 99.4-99.8% homology within the ferret badger isolates, and 83-89% homology to the dog isolates in the nucleoprotein and glycoprotein genes in the same rabies endemic regions.
Conclusions
Our data suggest ferret badger-associated rabies has likely formed as an independent enzootic originating from dogs during the long-term rabies infestation in southeast China. The eventual role of FB rabies in public health remains unclear. However, management of ferret badger bites, rabies awareness and control in the related regions should be an immediate need.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-234
PMCID: PMC2927599  PMID: 20691095
13.  Rabies Situation in Cambodia 
Background
Rabies, a fatal but preventable zoonosis, is a major public health problem in developing countries. In Cambodia the disease burden is largely underestimated because patients with encephalitis following dog bites are rarely hospitalized and die at home. Since 1998 Institut Pasteur in Cambodia (IPC), Phnom Penh has been the only source of free post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and post-mortem diagnosis.
Methods
The 1998–2007 data compiled by IPC was analyzed to describe all treated patients for PEP, results of human testing and confirmed rabies cases, and results of animal testing. From dog bites' characteristics, we defined a suspected rabid dog bite injury (SRDBI) in humans as a bite that was unprovoked, from a dog that died spontaneously, or from a dog that was reported sick. We applied a deterministic probability model to estimate 2007 rabies human mortality nationwide from the estimated incidence of rabid dog bites, the body distribution of bite wounds, and the probability of PEP access.
Results
During 1998–2007, 124,749 patients received PEP at IPC (average 12,470; range 8,907–14,475), and 63 fatal human cases presenting with encephalitis following a dog bite were reported, in which 73% were confirmed positive for rabies by direct immunofluorescence assay or by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. During 1998–2007, IPC tested 1,255 animal brain samples; 1,214 (97%) were from dogs including 610 (49%) positive samples. In 2007, 14,475 patients received PEP (100 PEP/100,000 people in Cambodia) including 95% who resided in Phnom Penh (615 PEP/100,000) or five neighboring provinces. The predictive model estimated 810 human rabies deaths would occur in 2007 (95%confidence interval [CI] 394–1,607), an incidence of 5.8/100,000 (95% CI 2.8–11.5).
Conclusions
Access to PEP is only sufficient for Phnom Penh residents. In 2007, the estimated rabies related mortality exceeded that of malaria and that of dengue. A national rabies control program is needed to improve surveillance and access to PEP, and to initiate vaccination campaigns in dogs.
Author Summary
In Cambodia, rabies still elicits fear in the communities. Since 1998 the Institut Pasteur in Cambodia (IPC), Phnom Penh has been the only source of free post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and post mortem diagnosis. During 1998–2007, on average ∼12,400 patients received PEP annually at IPC (range 8,907–14,475) and 63 fatal human cases presenting with encephalitis following a dog bite were reported including 73% who tested positive by fluorescent-antibody test on brain samples or/and by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction on skin, cerebrospinal fluid, or urine. In 2007, 14,475 patients received PEP (100 PEP/100,000 people in Cambodia) including 95% who resided in Phnom Penh city (615 PEP/100,000) or five neighboring provinces. Using a step-by-step probability model, we estimated that 810 human rabies deaths would occur in 2007 (95% confidence interval [CI] 394–1,607); an incidence of 5.8/100,000 (95%CI 2.8–11.5). As a result, despite high attendance at the IPC's PEP center most Cambodians living in peripheral provinces in Cambodia may not have adequate access to PEP. Finally, the model generated one of the highest incidences of rabies worldwide. A national rabies control program is needed to improve surveillance and access to PEP, and to initiate vaccination campaigns in dogs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000511
PMCID: PMC2731168  PMID: 19907631
14.  Rabies in Iraq: Trends in Human Cases 2001–2010 and Characterisation of Animal Rabies Strains from Baghdad 
Control of rabies requires a consistent supply of dependable resources, constructive cooperation between veterinary and public health authorities, and systematic surveillance. These are challenging in any circumstances, but particularly during conflict. Here we describe available human rabies surveillance data from Iraq, results of renewed sampling for rabies in animals, and the first genetic characterisation of circulating rabies strains from Iraq. Human rabies is notifiable, with reported cases increasing since 2003, and a marked increase in Baghdad between 2009 and 2010. These changes coincide with increasing numbers of reported dog bites. There is no laboratory confirmation of disease or virus characterisation and no systematic surveillance for rabies in animals. To address these issues, brain samples were collected from domestic animals in the greater Baghdad region and tested for rabies. Three of 40 brain samples were positive using the fluorescent antibody test and hemi-nested RT-PCR for rabies virus (RABV). Bayesian phylogenetic analysis using partial nucleoprotein gene sequences derived from the samples demonstrated the viruses belong to a single virus variant and share a common ancestor with viruses from neighbouring countries, 22 (95% HPD 14–32) years ago. These include countries lying to the west, north and east of Iraq, some of which also have other virus variants circulating concurrently. These results suggest possible multiple introductions of rabies into the Middle East, and regular trans-boundary movement of disease. Although 4000 years have passed since the original description of disease consistent with rabies, animals and humans are still dying of this preventable and neglected zoonosis.
Author Summary
Control of rabies requires cooperation between government departments, consistent funding, and an understanding of the epidemiology of the disease obtained through surveillance. Here we describe human rabies surveillance data from Iraq and the results of renewed sampling for rabies in animals. In Iraq, it is obligatory by law to report cases of human rabies. These reports were collated and analysed. Reported cases have increased since 2003, with a marked increase in Baghdad 2009–2010. There is no system for detecting rabies in animals and the strains circulating in Iraq have not previously been characterized. To address this, samples were collected from domestic animals in Baghdad and tested for rabies. Three out of 40 were positive for rabies virus. Comparison of part of the viral genetic sequence with other viruses from the region demonstrated that the viruses from Iraq are more closely related to each other than those from surrounding countries, but diverged from viruses isolated in neighbouring countries approximately 22 (95% HPD 14–32) years ago. Although 4000 years have passed since the original description of disease consistent with rabies, animals and humans are still dying of this preventable and neglected zoonosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002075
PMCID: PMC3585036  PMID: 23469303
15.  Molecular Epidemiology of Reemergent Rabies in Yunnan Province, Southwestern China 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2014;20(9):1433-1442.
This province is a focal point for spread of rabies between Southeast Asia and China.
Yunnan Province in China borders 3 countries (Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar) in Southeast Asia. In the 1980s, a large-scale rabies epidemic occurred in this province, which subsided by the late 1990s. However, 3 human cases of rabies in 2000 indicated reemergence of the disease in 1 county. In 2012, rabies was detected in 77 counties; 663 persons died of rabies during this new epidemic. Fifty two rabies virus strains obtained during 2008–2012 were identified and analyzed phylogenetically by sequencing the nucleoprotein gene. Of the 4 clades identified, clades YN-A and YN-C were closely related to strains from neighboring provinces, and clade YN-B was closely related to strains from Southeast Asia, but formed a distinct branch. Rabies virus diversity might be attributed to dog movements among counties, provinces, and neighboring countries. These findings suggest that Yunnan Province is a focal point for spread of rabies between Southeast Asia and China.
doi:10.3201/eid2009.130440
PMCID: PMC4178403  PMID: 25144604
rabies; rabies virus; viruses; molecular epidemiology; endemic disease; public health; nucleoprotein; homology; phylogenetic analysis; dogs; China
16.  Moving from Rabies Research to Rabies Control: Lessons from India 
Background
Despite the availability of effective interventions and public recognition of the severity of the problem, rabies continues to suffer neglect by programme planners in India and other low and middle income countries. We investigate whether this state of ‘policy impasse’ is due to, at least in part, the research community not catering to the information needs of the policy makers.
Methods & Findings
Our objective was to review the research output on rabies from India and examine its alignment with national policy priorities. A systematic literature review of all rabies research articles published from India between 2001 and 2011 was conducted. The distribution of conducted research was compared to the findings of an earlier research prioritization exercise. It was found that a total of 93 research articles were published from India since 2001, out of which 61% consisted of laboratory based studies focussing on rabies virus. Animals were the least studied group, comprising only 8% of the research output. One third of the articles were published in three journals focussing on vaccines and infectious disease epidemiology and the top 4 institutions (2 each from the animal and human health sectors) collectively produced 49% of the national research output. Biomedical research related to development of new interventions dominated the total output as opposed to the identified priority domains of socio-politic-economic research, basic epidemiological research and research to improve existing interventions.
Conclusion
The paper highlights the gaps between rabies research and policy needs, and makes the case for developing a strategic research agenda that focusses on rabies control as an expected outcome.
Author Summary
Rabies is among the most widely spread zoonoses (diseases that are naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and humans) in humans in most Asian, African and Latin American countries. Even though researchers have demonstrated effectiveness of strategies to control rabies at the population level, such as post exposure prophylaxis in humans and animal birth control and immunization among dogs, are well known, policy makers in most countries are hesitant to implement these strategies. This paper examines the disconnect that prevents the translation of scientific research outputs into effective policies. We contrasted the type of research papers published on rabies from India in the last eleven years with a previously identified set of priority research options. We found that most published research articles related to biomedical research focussing on development of new interventions. This was in contrast to policy and systems-related research and research to improve the performance of existing interventions that were identified as priority research options for India earlier. The findings of our study highlight the importance of moving beyond a purely researcher-driven agenda and suggest the need to promote research that has a vision of rabies control in the near future.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001748
PMCID: PMC3413711  PMID: 22880139
17.  Genetic Diversity and Geographic Distribution of Genetically Distinct Rabies Viruses in the Philippines 
Background
Rabies continues to be a major public health problem in the Philippines, where 200–300 human cases were reported annually between 2001 and 2011. Understanding the phylogeography of rabies viruses is important for establishing a more effective and feasible control strategy.
Methods
We performed a molecular analysis of rabies viruses in the Philippines using rabied animal brain samples. The samples were collected from 11 of 17 regions, which covered three island groups (Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao). Partial nucleoprotein (N) gene sequencing was performed on 57 samples and complete glycoprotein (G) gene sequencing was performed on 235 samples collected between 2004 and 2010.
Results
The Philippine strains of rabies viruses were included in a distinct phylogenetic cluster, previously named Asian 2b, which appeared to have diverged from the Chinese strain named Asian 2a. The Philippine strains were further divided into three major clades, which were found exclusively in different island groups: clades L, V, and M in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, respectively. Clade L was subdivided into nine subclades (L1–L9) and clade V was subdivided into two subclades (V1 and V2). With a few exceptions, most strains in each subclade were distributed in specific geographic areas. There were also four strains that were divided into two genogroups but were not classified into any of the three major clades, and all four strains were found in the island group of Luzon.
Conclusion
We detected three major clades and two distinct genogroups of rabies viruses in the Philippines. Our data suggest that viruses of each clade and subclade evolved independently in each area without frequent introduction into other areas. An important implication of these data is that geographically targeted dog vaccination using the island group approach may effectively control rabies in the Philippines.
Author Summary
Rabies continues to be a major public health problem in the Philippines. We conducted a molecular epidemiological study of rabies using the complete glycoprotein (G) gene from 235 animal brain samples collected in the Philippines between 2004 and 2010. We identified three major clades and two distinct genogroups in the Philippines. The three major clades L, V, and M were found specifically in the Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao island groups, respectively. Additionally, two minor genogroups were located in the Luzon island group. These data suggest that although human mediated transmission may have occurred, these virus clades evolved independently after a single introduction into each island group. All of the analyzed Philippine strains were clustered into Asian 2b, which diverged from the Chinese strain Asian 2a. No recent introduction of rabies into the Philippines from other countries was apparent. The elimination of rabies by 2020 is a national goal in the Philippines, necessitating urgent development of a more effective and feasible strategy for controlling rabies. Our findings indicate that a geographically targeted dog vaccination campaign may effectively control rabies in island nations such as the Philippines.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002144
PMCID: PMC3617229  PMID: 23593515
18.  Achieving Population-Level Immunity to Rabies in Free-Roaming Dogs in Africa and Asia 
Canine rabies can be effectively controlled by vaccination with readily available, high-quality vaccines. These vaccines should provide protection from challenge in healthy dogs, for the claimed period, for duration of immunity, which is often two or three years. It has been suggested that, in free-roaming dog populations where rabies is endemic, vaccine-induced protection may be compromised by immuno-suppression through malnutrition, infection and other stressors. This may reduce the proportion of dogs that seroconvert to the vaccine during vaccination campaigns and the duration of immunity of those dogs that seroconvert. Vaccination coverage may also be limited through insufficient vaccine delivery during vaccination campaigns and the loss of vaccinated individuals from populations through demographic processes. This is the first longitudinal study to evaluate temporal variations in rabies vaccine-induced serological responses, and factors associated with these variations, at the individual level in previously unvaccinated free-roaming dog populations. Individual-level serological and health-based data were collected from three cohorts of dogs in regions where rabies is endemic, one in South Africa and two in Indonesia. We found that the vast majority of dogs seroconverted to the vaccine; however, there was considerable variation in titres, partly attributable to illness and lactation at the time of vaccination. Furthermore, >70% of the dogs were vaccinated through community engagement and door-to-door vaccine delivery, even in Indonesia where the majority of the dogs needed to be caught by net on successive occasions for repeat blood sampling and vaccination. This demonstrates the feasibility of achieving population-level immunity in free-roaming dog populations in rabies-endemic regions. However, attrition of immune individuals through demographic processes and waning immunity necessitates repeat vaccination of populations within at least two years to ensure communities are protected from rabies. These findings support annual mass vaccination campaigns as the most effective means to control canine rabies.
Author Summary
Canine-mediated rabies is a horrific disease that claims tens of thousands of human lives every year, particularly in Asia and Africa. The disease can be effectively controlled through mass vaccination of dogs with high-quality vaccines; however, questions remain over the effectiveness of vaccination where the health status of free-roaming dogs may be compromised and the life expectancy and access to these dogs may be limited. This study evaluated rabies-vaccine induced immune responses and vaccine delivery in previously unvaccinated, free-roaming dog populations in two rabies endemic regions in Asia and Africa, to better understand the effectiveness of vaccination campaigns. We found that the majority of dogs seroconverted to the vaccine regardless of health status. Excellent vaccination coverage was achieved through community engagement and door-to-door vaccine delivery, even where the majority of the dogs needed to be caught by net for vaccination. However, attrition of immune individuals through demographic processes and waning immunity reinforces the importance of frequent and regular vaccination campaigns to ensure effective vaccination coverage is maintained.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003160
PMCID: PMC4230884  PMID: 25393023
19.  Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) about Rabies Prevention and Control: A Community Survey in Tanzania 
Background
Despite being entirely preventable, canine rabies still kills 55,000 people/year in developing countries. Information about local beliefs and practices can identify knowledge gaps that may affect prevention practices and lead to unnecessary deaths.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We investigated knowledge, attitudes and practices related to rabies and its prevention and control amongst a cross-section of households (n = 5,141) in urban and rural areas of central, southern and northern Tanzania. Over 17% of respondents owned domestic dogs (average of 2.3 dogs/household),>95% had heard about rabies, and>80% knew that rabies is transmitted through dog bites. People who (1) had greater education, (2) originated from areas with a history of rabies interventions, (3) had experienced exposure by a suspect rabid animal, (4) were male and (5) owned dogs were more likely to have greater knowledge about the disease. Around 80% of respondents would seek hospital treatment after a suspect bite, but only 5% were aware of the need for prompt wound cleansing after a bite. Although>65% of respondents knew of dog vaccination as a means to control rabies, only 51% vaccinated their dogs. Determinants of dog vaccination included (1) being a male-headed household, (2) presence of children, (3) low economic status, (4) residing in urban areas, (5) owning livestock, (6) originating from areas with rabies interventions and (7) having purchased a dog. The majority of dog-owning respondents were willing to contribute no more than US$0.31 towards veterinary services.
Conclusions/Significance
We identified important knowledge gaps related to, and factors influencing the prevention and control of rabies in Tanzania. Increasing knowledge regarding wound washing, seeking post-exposure prophylaxis and the need to vaccinate dogs are likely to result in more effective prevention of rabies; however, greater engagement of the veterinary and medical sectors is also needed to ensure the availability of preventative services.
Author Summary
Rabies remains a major public health problem in Africa and Asia, although means to control and prevent the disease are available through mass dog vaccination and provision of post-exposure prophylaxis to people exposed to bites by suspect rabid animals. Here we report the results of an extensive community survey on knowledge, attitudes and practices related to rabies control and prevention, covering rural and urban settings in central, northern and southern Tanzania. Our results showed that the majority of people across Tanzania had heard about rabies and knew that it is transmitted by dog bites, but most lacked comprehensive knowledge about key practices, such as the need for wound cleansing, which could prevent unnecessary deaths from the disease. In other circumstances, knowledge (for example, about the need to vaccinate dogs to control rabies) did not reflect good practice. In order to address the knowledge gaps identified by this study, there is a need for interventions aimed at increasing awareness, focusing on simple messages and targeting the community as a whole. This information could be channelled through media, community meetings and professionals including community leaders, health workers, teachers, livestock officers and clinicians.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003310
PMCID: PMC4256472  PMID: 25473834
20.  Challenges and needs for China to eliminate rabies 
In China, rabies is a significant public health concern where dogs remain the main reservoir of disease transmission to humans; rabies-related mortality ranks second in the world.
We compiled all published articles and official documents on rabies in mainland China to examine challenges and needs to eliminate rabies in the country. The Chinese authorities have identified rabies as a priority, recognized rabies control in dogs as key to control rabies in humans and required intersectoral collaborations. Efforts have been made to respond effectively to the latest re-emergence of rabies, which peaked in 2007 with >3,300 cases. Despite these outcomes and the increasing volume of publications and regulations in the recent years, our review points to some major information gaps to improve rabies control activities and envisage elimination program. An emphasis on laboratory or pathogen-associated and basic epidemiology research in the literature has contrasted with the absence of information to monitor various systems in humans and animals (e.g. quality of surveillance, response and post-exposure prophylaxis). Information is also lacking to appropriately inform policymakers (e.g. economic disease burden, impact of policies) and assist program managers (e.g. comprehensive and strategic guidance for cost-effective prevention and control activities, public education and dog population management).
In conclusion, strategic planning is needed to provide a sense of direction, demonstrate feasibility of elimination in China, and develop a research agenda, addressing country’s operational needs and constraints. The planning should be a multisectoral effort.
doi:10.1186/2049-9957-2-23
PMCID: PMC3851465  PMID: 24088366
Rabies; Elimination; China; Needs; Challenges; Review
21.  Eliminating Rabies in Tanzania? Local Understandings and Responses to Mass Dog Vaccination in Kilombero and Ulanga Districts 
Background
With increased global attention to neglected diseases, there has been a resurgence of interest in eliminating rabies from developing countries through mass dog vaccination. Tanzania recently embarked on an ambitious programme to repeatedly vaccinate dogs in 28 districts. To understand community perceptions and responses to this programme, we conducted an anthropological study exploring the relationships between dogs, society, geography and project implementation in the districts of Kilombero and Ulanga, Southern Tanzania.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Over three months in 2012, we combined the use of focus groups, semi-structured interviews, a household questionnaire and a population-based survey. Willingness to participate in vaccination was mediated by fear of rabies, high medical treatment costs and the threat of dog culling, as well as broader notions of social responsibility. However, differences between town, rural and (agro-) pastoralist populations in livelihood patterns and dog ownership impacted coverage in ways that were not well incorporated into project planning. Coverage in six selected villages was estimated at 25%, well below official estimates. A variety of problems with campaign mobilisation, timing, the location of central points, equipment and staff, and project organisation created barriers to community compliance. Resource-limitations and institutional norms limited the ability for district staff to adapt implementation strategies.
Conclusions and Significance
In the shadows of resource and institutional limitations in the veterinary sector in Africa, top-down interventions for neglected zoonotic diseases likes rabies need to more explicitly engage with project organisation, capacity and community participation. Greater attention to navigating local realities in planning and implementation is essential to ensuring that rabies, and other neglected diseases, are controlled sustainably.
Author Summary
Mass vaccination of dogs is the most effective strategy to eliminate dog-mediated human rabies from developing countries. In 2009, a large-scale elimination demonstration project was funded and coordinated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in three southern countries, including the United Republic of Tanzania. This paper explores community perceptions and responses to this programme in the districts of Kilombero and Ulanga, Southern Tanzania. The study was based on focus groups and interviews in 16 villages as well as a household questionnaire (n = 113), a population-based survey (n = 6,157 households) and key informant interviews (n = 24). The study showed that fear of rabies, the threat of dog culling and broader ideas of community responsibility drove compliance. However differences in local livelihoods shaped dog ownership patterns and the distribution of dogs in ways that were not explicitly addressed by project strategies. A survey in six villages found that only 25% of dogs had been vaccinated in 2011. We discuss the operational constraints and problems that lowered coverage as viewed by different actors at the district and village-level. A more explicit engagement with project organisation, capacity and community involvement are needed to address this low coverage.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002935
PMCID: PMC4063706  PMID: 24945697
22.  Rabies in Sri Lanka: Splendid Isolation 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2003;9(3):368-371.
Rabies virus exists in dogs on Sri Lanka as a single, minimally divergent lineage only distantly related to other rabies virus lineages in Asia. Stable, geographically isolated virus populations are susceptible to local extinction. A fully implemented rabies-control campaign could make Sri Lanka the first Asian country in >30 years to become free of rabies virus.
doi:10.3201/eid0903.020545
PMCID: PMC2958551  PMID: 12643834
rabies virus; Sri Lanka; dogs; communicable disease control; lyssavirus; virus typing; phylogenetic analysis; dispatch
23.  Novel Vaccines to Human Rabies 
Rabies, the most fatal of all infectious diseases, remains a major public health problem in developing countries, claiming the lives of an estimated 55,000 people each year. Most fatal rabies cases, with more than half of them in children, result from dog bites and occur among low-income families in Southeast Asia and Africa. Safe and efficacious vaccines are available to prevent rabies. However, they have to be given repeatedly, three times for pre-exposure vaccination and four to five times for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). In cases of severe exposure, a regimen of vaccine combined with a rabies immunoglobulin (RIG) preparation is required. The high incidence of fatal rabies is linked to a lack of knowledge on the appropriate treatment of bite wounds, lack of access to costly PEP, and failure to follow up with repeat immunizations. New, more immunogenic but less costly rabies virus vaccines are needed to reduce the toll of rabies on human lives. A preventative vaccine used for the immunization of children, especially those in high incidence countries, would be expected to lower fatality rates. Such a vaccine would have to be inexpensive, safe, and provide sustained protection, preferably after a single dose. Novel regimens are also needed for PEP to reduce the need for the already scarce and costly RIG and to reduce the number of vaccine doses to one or two. In this review, the pipeline of new rabies vaccines that are in pre-clinical testing is provided and an opinion on those that might be best suited as potential replacements for the currently used vaccines is offered.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000515
PMCID: PMC2742899  PMID: 19787033
24.  Reemerging Rabies and Lack of Systemic Surveillance in People’s Republic of China 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2009;15(8):1159-1164.
Standardized protocols and diagnostic-based surveillance are imperative for detection and elimination.
Rabies is a reemerging disease in China. The high incidence of rabies leads to numerous concerns: a potential carrier-dog phenomenon, undocumented transmission of rabies virus from wildlife to dogs, counterfeit vaccines, vaccine mismatching, and seroconversion testing in patients after their completion of postexposure prophylaxis (PEP). These concerns are all scientifically arguable given a modern understanding of rabies. Rabies reemerges periodically in China because of high dog population density and low vaccination coverage in dogs. Mass vaccination campaigns rather than depopulation of dogs should be a long-term goal for rabies control. Seroconversion testing after vaccination is not necessary in either humans or animals. Human PEP should be initiated on the basis of diagnosis of biting animals. Reliable national systemic surveillance of rabies-related human deaths and of animal rabies prevalence is urgently needed. A laboratory diagnosis–based epidemiologic surveillance system can provide substantial information about disease transmission and effective prevention strategies.
doi:10.3201/eid1508.081426
PMCID: PMC2815959  PMID: 19751575
Rabies; viruses; carrier-dog phenomenon; China; counterfeit vaccines; seroconversion testing; vaccination coverage; mass vaccination campaigns; postexposure prophylaxis; perspective
25.  Potential for Rabies Control through Dog Vaccination in Wildlife-Abundant Communities of Tanzania 
Canine vaccination has been successful in controlling rabies in diverse settings worldwide. However, concerns remain that coverage levels which have previously been sufficient might be insufficient in systems where transmission occurs both between and within populations of domestic dogs and other carnivores. To evaluate the effectiveness of vaccination targeted at domestic dogs when wildlife also contributes to transmission, we applied a next-generation matrix model based on contract tracing data from the Ngorongoro and Serengeti Districts in northwest Tanzania. We calculated corresponding values of R0, and determined, for policy purposes, the probabilities that various annual vaccination targets would control the disease, taking into account the empirical uncertainty in our field data. We found that transition rate estimates and corresponding probabilities of vaccination-based control indicate that rabies transmission in this region is driven by transmission within domestic dogs. Different patterns of rabies transmission between the two districts exist, with wildlife playing a more important part in Ngorongoro and leading to higher recommended coverage levels in that district. Nonetheless, our findings indicate that an annual dog vaccination campaign achieving the WHO-recommended target of 70% will control rabies in both districts with a high level of certainty. Our results support the feasibility of controlling rabies in Tanzania through dog vaccination.
Author Summary
The vaccination of dogs against rabies is an effective method for the control of the disease and its transmission to humans in many locations, including in North America and Europe. However, vaccination coverage for only dogs might be insufficient in countries such as Tanzania, where wildlife has been shown to also carry and transmit rabies. To address this concern, we developed a model parameterized with field data on rabies in dogs and wildlife from two districts of Tanzania, Ngorongoro and Serengeti. Our study found significant variation in the patterns of rabies transmission between the two districts, with wildlife playing a more important part in rabies transmission in Ngorongoro. Based on these findings, a higher vaccination coverage level against rabies is necessary in Ngorongoro more than in Serengeti, although it is still possible to achieve the required level of vaccination coverage for Ngorongoro through dog vaccination alone. An annual dog vaccination campaign at the WHO-recommended target of 70% would control rabies in both districts.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001796
PMCID: PMC3424251  PMID: 22928056

Results 1-25 (921315)