rabiessurveillanceblueprint.org

2.3.3 Is there a need to include other species?

Given that all mammals are susceptible to rabies, potential spillover species should not be ruled out in surveillance activities. Although spillover species are of secondary importance, they may reveal valuable information about specific rabies virus variant dynamics. Most importantly, knowledge of spillover affords public health officials and others the opportunity to provide outreach information to the public to avoid contact with these species, or if contact occurs, try to capture the suspect animal for observation and testing if this can be done without harm and further jeopardy of additional exposures.

While spillover is almost always a dead-end event for the virus (i.e., the rabies virus does not cycle indefinitely among “spillover species”), it can pose an increased risk for rabies. For example, in areas where canine rabies has been eliminated, a dog may be infected with a wildlife rabies variant. If the dog is not vaccinated it may put the dog‘s owner unknowingly at risk of rabies exposure because of the owner’s close contact with the dog. In addition, attention to such secondary species provides opportunities to detect potential transfer of virus and potential establishment of independent cycles in new species.


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[en]Version 1 Last updated December 2014[fr]Première version, dernière mise à jour Juin 2015