Advance Journal of Virology, Epidemic and Pandemic Diseases

Practicality and elements influencing worldwide disposal and conceivable annihilation of rabies on the planet


A. Abereko, J. I. Kragha and H. O. Folake

This article reviews the feasibility of global eradication of rabies and factors affecting eradication of
rabies in the world. Effective vaccines are now available against many viruses making eradication a
viable proposition. As in the case of smallpox, the following questions should be addressed when the
feasibility of eradication of a particular human virus disease is considered. Is the disease worth
eradicating? Is there any animal reservoir? Is there a carrier state? Is effective vaccination available?
How communicable is the rabies? What level of coverage is required for eradication? What are the
possibilities for rabies control in reservoir hosts? Can rabies be controlled in wildlife reservoirs? Can
the population density of reservoir hosts be reduced? Can contact between wild dogs and domestic
dogs be minimized? Whether a virus disease can be eradicated or not depends on many factors, not
least on the will power to implement such a policy. These factors include human (increased human
activities and international travel; lack of adequate public awareness, proper surveillance, emergency
preparedness planning, solid commitment and resourced initiatives among others); socioeconomic
(major ecologic changes, agricultural practices, poverty, increasing demands for meat etc.); animal
factors (illegal importation, population increase, migration of dogs, stray animals etc.); and vaccines
and vaccination (low vaccination coverage and potent vaccines, vaccine failure, inferior vaccine quality,
vaccine shortage, high cost, existence of multiple hosts, reservoir and healthy carriers etc.). Rabies
eradication is not feasible because of the extensive factors and the inability to eliminate reservoirs with
existing technology. However, elimination of human rabies in urban areas may be possible through
different strategies. Vaccination of stray dogs could lead to the eradication of rabies in countries where
dog rabies is the sole source of human exposure. Research to design strategies for rabies control
globally, is urgently needed. Additional genetic work will help to set priorities for the conservation of
populations which may be genetically unique for spread of rabies and other related diseases.


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