A retrospective study of wildlife rabies in Zimbabwe, between 1992 and 2003
- 198 Downloads
To assess the epidemiological features of wildlife rabies in Zimbabwe, a retrospective study covering a period of 12 years (1992–2003) was conducted using rabies records of the Central Veterinary Laboratories (CVL), Department of Veterinary Technical Services at Harare. Records of monthly and annual wildlife rabies were perused with regard to total samples submitted to the CVL and corresponding positive cases. Positive cases were analyzed in relation to the animal species involved, seasonal trends, and land-use categories. A total of 2107 samples were submitted and 1 540 (73.1%) were positive. Jackals (Canis mesomelas and C. adustus), with a peak occurrence of rabies between January and March were the major maintenance host, representing approximately 91% of the total rabies cases confirmed. The Canidae family recorded the highest number of cases followed by the Viverridae, Mustelidae, Felidae, Herpestidae and Hyaenidae families in that order. During the present study rabies cases were confirmed in 7 additional wild animals. The majority of the positive cases (83.7%) were recorded in commercial farming areas in the northeast parts of the country.
KeywordsEpidemiology Rabies Wildlife Zimbabwe
The authors are grateful to the Rabies Unit, Pathology Section, within the Central Veterinary Laboratory, Diagnostic and Research Branch, Department of Veterinary Technical Services for allowing access to the rabies records.
- Anon., 2002. Central Veterinary Laboratory Report for 2002. Department of Veterinary Technical Services, Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, P.O. Box, CY551, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe.Google Scholar
- Bingham, J., 1999. The control of rabies in jackals in Zimbabwe. PhD Thesis. University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe.Google Scholar
- Bishop, G.C., Durreheim, G.N., Kloeck, P.E., Godlonton, J.D., Bingham, J., Speare, R. and The Rabies Advisory Group, 2002. Rabies guide for the medical, veterinary and allied professions. Department of Agriculture, Government Printer, Pretoria.Google Scholar
- Childs, J.E., Krebs, J.W., Real, L.A. and Gordon, E.R., 2007. Animal-based national surveillance for zoonotic disease: Quality, limitations, and implications of a model system for monitoring rabies. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 78, 246–261. doi:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2006.10.014 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Foggin, C.M., 1988. Rabies and rabies-related viruses in Zimbabwe: historical, virological and ecological aspects. DPhil Thesis, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zimbabwe.Google Scholar
- Hofmeyr, M., Hofmeyr, D., Nel, L. and Bingham, J., 2004. A second outbreak of rabies in African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) in Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa, demonstrating the efficacy of vaccination against natural rabies challenge. Animal Conservation, 7, 193–198. doi:10.1017/S1367943004001234 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- King, A.A., Meredith, C.D. and Thomson, G.R., 1994. The biology of southern African lyssavirus variants. In: C.E. Rupprecht, B. Dietzschold and H. Koprowski (Editors), Lyssaviruses, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
- Rupprecht, C.E., 2002. Rabies: reemergence of the disease. Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian (Supplement No.1A), 24, 57–60.Google Scholar
- Swanepoel, R., Barnard, B.J.H., Meredith, C.D., Bishop, G.C., Bruchner, G.K., Fogging, C.M. and Hubschle, O.J.B., 1993. Rabies in Southern Africa. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research, 60, 323–346.Google Scholar