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Factors Impacting the Control of Rabies

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  • Author: Louis H. Nel
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    Affiliations: 2: University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
  • Source: microbiolspec December 2013 vol. 1 no. 2 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0006-2012
  • Received 26 September 2012 Accepted 10 December 2012 Published 13 December 2013
  • Louis H. Nel, louis.nel@up.ac.za
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  • Abstract:

    Rabies is a classical zoonosis that has been known to man for ages. The disease can be caused by several viral species in the genus, but the type species, rabies virus (RABV), is by far the most important from a zoonosis perspective. The extreme neurotropism of RABV and the evolutionarily conserved elements and structures of the mammalian brain suggest that this virus evolved an ultimate niche for replication, simultaneously exploiting classical social behavior of a wide diversity of hosts among the chiropters and carnivores. There is substantial evidence that RABV originated in bats and later switched hosts to yield globally disseminated canine rabies. Following the revolutionary work of Louis Pasteur, control and elimination of dog rabies was achieved in Europe, but widespread colonial introduction of European strains of dog RABV to other parts of the world occurred. Thus, dog rabies spread rapidly in the 1900s, and today the vast majority of the tens of thousands of annual human rabies cases stem from dog rabies, which has become endemic in the entire developing world. The fact that human rabies is preventable, through control in the dog reservoir on one hand and through effective prophylaxis in cases of exposure on the other hand, is an indictment of public health strategies and practices. This article discusses some of the drivers that have contributed to the recurrent neglect of rabies in the modern world, as well as evolving One Health-based rabies control partnerships and initiatives that have been progressive, productive, and promising of true global benefits.

  • Citation: Nel L. 2013. Factors Impacting the Control of Rabies. Microbiol Spectrum 1(2):OH-0006-2012. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0006-2012.

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2013-12-13
2017-06-26

Abstract:

Rabies is a classical zoonosis that has been known to man for ages. The disease can be caused by several viral species in the genus, but the type species, rabies virus (RABV), is by far the most important from a zoonosis perspective. The extreme neurotropism of RABV and the evolutionarily conserved elements and structures of the mammalian brain suggest that this virus evolved an ultimate niche for replication, simultaneously exploiting classical social behavior of a wide diversity of hosts among the chiropters and carnivores. There is substantial evidence that RABV originated in bats and later switched hosts to yield globally disseminated canine rabies. Following the revolutionary work of Louis Pasteur, control and elimination of dog rabies was achieved in Europe, but widespread colonial introduction of European strains of dog RABV to other parts of the world occurred. Thus, dog rabies spread rapidly in the 1900s, and today the vast majority of the tens of thousands of annual human rabies cases stem from dog rabies, which has become endemic in the entire developing world. The fact that human rabies is preventable, through control in the dog reservoir on one hand and through effective prophylaxis in cases of exposure on the other hand, is an indictment of public health strategies and practices. This article discusses some of the drivers that have contributed to the recurrent neglect of rabies in the modern world, as well as evolving One Health-based rabies control partnerships and initiatives that have been progressive, productive, and promising of true global benefits.

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Genome type and membrane presence of the major families of animal RNA viruses. dsDNA, double-stranded DNA. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0006-2012.f1

Source: microbiolspec December 2013 vol. 1 no. 2 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0006-2012
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The rabies cycle. Lyssaviruses are uniquely adapted to effectively exploit the ecological and anatomical characteristics of their primary mammalian hosts and vectors. CNS, central nervous system. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0006-2012.f2

Source: microbiolspec December 2013 vol. 1 no. 2 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0006-2012
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The perpetuation of a neglected zoonosis. Rabies is a classically underestimated disease in the developing world, where dog rabies is endemic, given nonspecific clinical symptoms, poor surveillance, and lack of laboratory diagnosis. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0006-2012.f3

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Known lyssaviruses and their associated hosts and geographic distribution a

Source: microbiolspec December 2013 vol. 1 no. 2 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0006-2012

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