Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 565–572 | Cite as

A retrospective study of wildlife rabies in Zimbabwe, between 1992 and 2003

  • D. M. Pfukenyi
  • D. Pawandiwa
  • P. V. Makaya
  • U. Ushewokunze-Obatolu
Original Paper


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.


Epidemiology 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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. M. Pfukenyi
    • 1
  • D. Pawandiwa
    • 2
  • P. V. Makaya
    • 2
  • U. Ushewokunze-Obatolu
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Veterinary StudiesFaculty of Veterinary Science, University of ZimbabweHarareZimbabwe
  2. 2.Central Veterinary Laboratories, Diagnostic and Research Branch, Department of Veterinary Technical ServicesHarareZimbabwe
  3. 3.Division of Veterinary Field ServicesHarareZimbabwe

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