Development of a Novel Rabies Simulation Model for Application in a Non-endemic Environment.

Dürr, Salome Esther; Ward, Michael P (2015). Development of a Novel Rabies Simulation Model for Application in a Non-endemic Environment. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 9(6), e0003876. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003876

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Domestic dog rabies is an endemic disease in large parts of the developing world and also epidemic in previously free regions. For example, it continues to spread in eastern Indonesia and currently threatens adjacent rabies-free regions with high densities of free-roaming dogs, including remote northern Australia. Mathematical and simulation disease models are useful tools to provide insights on the most effective control strategies and to inform policy decisions. Existing rabies models typically focus on long-term control programs in endemic countries. However, simulation models describing the dog rabies incursion scenario in regions where rabies is still exotic are lacking. We here describe such a stochastic, spatially explicit rabies simulation model that is based on individual dog information collected in two remote regions in northern Australia. Illustrative simulations produced plausible results with epidemic characteristics expected for rabies outbreaks in disease free regions (mean R0 1.7, epidemic peak 97 days post-incursion, vaccination as the most effective response strategy). Systematic sensitivity analysis identified that model outcomes were most sensitive to seven of the 30 model parameters tested. This model is suitable for exploring rabies spread and control before an incursion in populations of largely free-roaming dogs that live close together with their owners. It can be used for ad-hoc contingency or response planning prior to and shortly after incursion of dog rabies in previously free regions. One challenge that remains is model parameterisation, particularly how dogs' roaming and contacts and biting behaviours change following a rabies incursion in a previously rabies free population.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Veterinary Public Health / Herd Health Management
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Dürr, Salome Esther

ISSN:

1935-2727

Publisher:

Public Library of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Susanne Agnes Lerch

Date Deposited:

15 Apr 2016 13:21

Last Modified:

09 Nov 2018 07:55

Publisher DOI:

10.1371/journal.pntd.0003876

PubMed ID:

26114762

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.80576

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/80576

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