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The importance of dog population contact network structures in rabies transmission

Laager, Mirjam and Mbilo, Céline and Madaye, Enos Abdelaziz and Naminou, Abakar and Léchenne, Monique and Tschopp, Aurélie and Naïssengar, Service Kemdongarti and Smieszek, Timo and Zinsstag, Jakob and Chitnis, Nakul. (2018) The importance of dog population contact network structures in rabies transmission. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 12 (8). e0006680.

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Abstract

Canine rabies transmission was interrupted in N'Djaména, Chad, following two mass vaccination campaigns. However, after nine months cases resurged with re-establishment of endemic rabies transmission to pre-intervention levels. Previous analyses investigated district level spatial heterogeneity of vaccination coverage, and dog density; and importation, identifying the latter as the primary factor for rabies resurgence. Here we assess the impact of individual level heterogeneity on outbreak probability, effectiveness of vaccination campaigns and likely time to resurgence after a campaign. Geo-located contact sensors recorded the location and contacts of 237 domestic dogs in N'Djaména over a period of 3.5 days. The contact network data showed that urban dogs are socially related to larger communities and constrained by the urban architecture. We developed a network generation algorithm that extrapolates this empirical contact network to networks of large dog populations and applied it to simulate rabies transmission in N'Djaména. The model predictions aligned well with the rabies incidence data. Using the model we demonstrated, that major outbreaks are prevented when at least 70% of dogs are vaccinated. The probability of a minor outbreak also decreased with increasing vaccination coverage, but reached zero only when coverage was near total. Our results suggest that endemic rabies in N'Djaména may be explained by a series of importations with subsequent minor outbreaks. We show that highly connected dogs hold a critical role in transmission and that targeted vaccination of such dogs would lead to more efficient vaccination campaigns.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Human and Animal Health > One Health (Zinsstag)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Infectious Disease Modelling > Disease and Intervention Dynamics (Penny)
UniBasel Contributors:Laager, Mirjam and Mbilo, Céline and Léchenne, Monique and Zinsstag, Jakob Z and Chitnis, Nakul
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1935-2727
e-ISSN:1935-2735
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:11 Sep 2018 12:19
Deposited On:11 Sep 2018 12:19

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