Surveillance guidelines for disease elimination: a case study of canine rabies

Townsend, S., Lembo, T. , Cleaveland, S. , Meslin, F.X., Miranda, M.E., Putra, A.A.G., Haydon, D.T. and Hampson, K. (2013) Surveillance guidelines for disease elimination: a case study of canine rabies. Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 36(3), pp. 249-261. (doi: 10.1016/j.cimid.2012.10.008)

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Surveillance is a critical component of disease control programmes but is often poorly resourced, particularly in developing countries lacking good infrastructure and especially for zoonoses which require combined veterinary and medical capacity and collaboration. Here we examine how successful control, and ultimately disease elimination, depends on effective surveillance. We estimated that detection probabilities of <0.1 are broadly typical of rabies surveillance in endemic countries and areas without a history of rabies. Using outbreak simulation techniques we investigated how the probability of detection affects outbreak spread, and outcomes of response strategies such as time to control an outbreak, probability of elimination, and the certainty of declaring freedom from disease. Assuming realistically poor surveillance (probability of detection <0.1), we show that proactive mass dog vaccination is much more effective at controlling rabies and no more costly than campaigns that vaccinate in response to case detection. Control through proactive vaccination followed by 2 years of continuous monitoring and vaccination should be sufficient to guarantee elimination from an isolated area not subject to repeat introductions. We recommend that rabies control programmes ought to be able to maintain surveillance levels that detect at least 5% (and ideally 10%) of all cases to improve their prospects of eliminating rabies, and this can be achieved through greater intersectoral collaboration. Our approach illustrates how surveillance is critical for the control and elimination of diseases such as canine rabies and can provide minimum surveillance requirements and technical guidance for elimination programmes under a broad-range of circumstances.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Haydon, Professor Daniel and Lembo, Dr Tiziana and Hampson, Professor Katie and Cleaveland, Professor Sarah and Townsend, Dr Sunny
Authors: Townsend, S., Lembo, T., Cleaveland, S., Meslin, F.X., Miranda, M.E., Putra, A.A.G., Haydon, D.T., and Hampson, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Publisher:Elsevier Ltd.
ISSN (Online):1878-1667
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
First Published:First published in Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 36(3):249-261
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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