Predicted spatial spread of canine rabies in Australia

Johnstone-Robertson, S, Fleming, P, Ward, M and Davis, S 2017, 'Predicted spatial spread of canine rabies in Australia', PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, vol. 11, no. 1, e0005312, pp. 1-21.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

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Title Predicted spatial spread of canine rabies in Australia
Author(s) Johnstone-Robertson, S
Fleming, P
Ward, M
Davis, S
Year 2017
Journal name PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume number 11
Issue number 1
Article Number e0005312
Start page 1
End page 21
Total pages 21
Publisher Public Library of Science
Abstract Modelling disease dynamics is most useful when data are limited. We present a spatial transmission model for the spread of canine rabies in the currently rabies-free wild dog population of Australia. The introduction of a sub-clinically infected dog from Indonesia is a distinct possibility, as is the spillover infection of wild dogs. Ranges for parameters were estimated from the literature and expert opinion, or set to span an order of magnitude. Rabies was judged to have spread spatially if a new infectious case appeared 120 km from the index case. We found 21% of initial value settings resulted in canine rabies spreading 120km, and on doing so at a median speed of 67 km/year. Parameters governing dog movements and behaviour, around which there is a paucity of knowledge, explained most of the variance in model outcomes. Dog density, especially when interactions with other parameters were included, explained some of the variance in whether rabies spread 120km, but dog demography (mean lifespan and mean replacement period) had minimal impact. These results provide a clear research direction if Australia is to improve its preparedness for rabies.
Subject Epidemiology
Biological Mathematics
DOI - identifier 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005312
Copyright notice © 2017 Johnstone-Robertson et al. This is an open access article. Creative Commons Attribution
ISSN 1935-2727
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