Caister Academic Press

Rabies Prevention and Control: Advances and Challenges

Charles E. Rupprecht and Dennis Slate
from: Rhabdoviruses: Molecular Taxonomy, Evolution, Genomics, Ecology, Host-Vector Interactions, Cytopathology and Control (Edited by: Ralf G. Dietzgen and Ivan V. Kuzmin). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2012)


Rabies prevention and control techniques improved greatly over the 20th century. Gradual understanding of the etiology, transmission details, immunological facets, and inter-specific dynamics among mammalian reservoirs revolutionized current intervention theory and practice. Technical progress appears even more notable given the importance of the global distribution of lyssaviruses, the discovery of more than a dozen causative agents of rabies, a broad mammalian host range, and a case fatality greater than any conventional infectious disease. Implementation of pure, potent, safe and efficacious vaccines produced major impacts on the interruption of viral transmission to humans and perpetuation among animals. Use of safe and effective vaccine-laden baits targeting wild carnivores led to substantial case reductions in Europe and North America. Continued vigilance, enhanced de-centralized surveillance, rapid diagnosis, viral characterization, and implementation of contingency actions, minimize the chance for disease re-introduction, which can thwart program success. New biologics, baits, and efficient distribution techniques are adaptable for vaccination programs targeting free-ranging carnivores over diverse landscapes. Although not a candidate for eradication at this time, human rabies is readily preventable, canine rabies can be eliminated, and wildlife rabies can be controlled. Dynamic multi-disciplinary partnerships and international advocacy have created new hope in the face of neglect for many affected human and animal populations in developing regions. Optimization of prevention and control methods, targeting the human, domestic animal, and wildlife interface, continue to make rabies a model for comparison among other emerging zoonoses, despite the considerable burden and economic challenges faced read more ...
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