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The feasibility of canine rabies elimination in Africa: dispelling doubts with data

Lembo, T., Hampson, K., Kaare, M.T., Ernest, E., Knobel, D., Kazwala, R.R., Haydon, D.T., and Cleaveland, S. (2010) The feasibility of canine rabies elimination in Africa: dispelling doubts with data. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 4 (2). e626. ISSN 1935-2727 (doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000626)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0000626

Abstract

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.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Haydon, Prof Daniel and Lembo, Dr Tiziana and Cleaveland, Prof Sarah and Hampson, Dr Katie and Knobel, Mr Darryn
Authors: Lembo, T., Hampson, K., Kaare, M.T., Ernest, E., Knobel, D., Kazwala, R.R., Haydon, D.T., and Cleaveland, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation > Centre for Virus Research
Journal Name:PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1935-2727
ISSN (Online):1935-2735
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2010 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 4(2):e626
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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