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Transmission Dynamics and Prospects for the Elimination of Canine Rabies

Hampson, K., Dushoff, J., Cleaveland, S., Haydon, D.T, Kaare, M., Packer, C., Dobson, A. and Rupprecht, C.E. (2009) Transmission Dynamics and Prospects for the Elimination of Canine Rabies. PLoS Biology, 7 (3). e53. ISSN 1544-9173

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Abstract

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.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2009 Hampson et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > School of Biological Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Animal and Plant Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Sheffield Import
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2009 14:54
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 16:59
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000053
Status: Published
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000053
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10026

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