Research Topic

Towards Elimination of Dog Mediated Human Rabies

About this Research Topic

Rabies is a zoonotic viral disease with a high impact on human and animal health. The disease is almost 100% fatal after clinical signs appear, killing tens of thousands of people per year worldwide. About 99% of infections in humans are caused by rabid domestic dog bites; therefore targeting the infection in ...

Rabies is a zoonotic viral disease with a high impact on human and animal health. The disease is almost 100% fatal after clinical signs appear, killing tens of thousands of people per year worldwide. About 99% of infections in humans are caused by rabid domestic dog bites; therefore targeting the infection in domestic dogs will reduce human infections most effectively. Control measures combining mass dog vaccination, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for exposed humans and dog owner and public education can effectively control the disease. Deaths due to canine rabies are related to poverty and neglect and mostly prevalent in Africa and many parts of Asia, whereas the disease is well controlled in Europe, Northern America and Latin America.

In December 2015, a global meeting launched a framework to deliver the strategic vision of an end to human deaths from rabies by 2030, which is supported by the End Rabies Now campaign. In this context, this Research Topic aims for contributions on the control and elimination of canine mediated human rabies. Epidemiological, educational, policy-related and economic aspects of dog and human rabies surveillance, implementation of control strategies in dogs and humans and scientific documentation of success stories will be published. Demonstrations of the benefit of cross sectoral “One Health” approaches are welcome.

Specific areas of interest include:
- Examples of successful rabies control from all over the world, including descriptions of actions, challenges and solutions during different stages of disease control, including economic aspects whenever possible. We are aiming for proof of concept for canine mediated human rabies elimination, or achievement of intermediate stages towards it. The description of how roadmaps are supportive on this way is appreciated.
- While in theory a limited number of mass dog vaccination campaigns could control dog rabies sustainably, this might not be easily achieved in practice. Studies exploring the agreement or disagreement between theory (model predictions) and practice in relation to the management of control strategies are welcome.
- It is well known that rabies surveillance in both humans and dogs is poor, particularly in rabies endemic countries. We invite studies that describe examples of how difficulties can be overcome and that demonstrate how essential surveillance is to sustainably control the disease. Analyses of previously unpublished surveillance data at country or at a more localized level are welcome.
- Sound knowledge on the ecology and husbandry systems of the main vector, the domestic dog, is critical for the planning and success of control strategies. We are interested in novel data and insights on dog population demography, dog roaming behavior, dog ownership practices, dog population management experiences in rabies control and human mediated dog movements for trade or other purposes. The latter may also include risk assessment of dog rabies (re-)introduction into rabies free regions.
- All human deaths can be prevented by timely access to affordable PEP. We are interested in innovative ways to increase accessibility to PEP and mechanisms of cost sharing between health services and their patients.


Keywords: Canine Rabies, Human Rabies, Rabies Control, Sustainability of Control Programs, Canine Rabies Elimination, Dog Ecology, Post Exposure Prophylaxis, Dog Population Management, Global


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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