Domestic dog demographic structure and dynamics relevant to rabies control planning in urban areas in Africa : the case of Iringa, Tanzania

Show simple item record Gsell, Alena S. Knobel, Darryn Leslie Kazwala, Rudovick R. Vounatsou, Penelope Zinsstag, Jakob 2013-02-22T08:03:19Z 2013-02-22T08:03:19Z 2012-12-05
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND: Mass vaccinations of domestic dogs have been shown to effectively control canine rabies and hence human exposure to rabies. Knowledge of dog population demography is essential for planning effective rabies vaccination programmes; however, such information is still rare for African domestic dog populations, particularly so in urban areas. This study describes the demographic structure and population dynamics of a domestic dog population in an urban sub-Saharan African setting. In July to November 2005, we conducted a full household-level census and a cross-sectional dog demography survey in four urban wards of Iringa Municipality, Tanzania. The achievable vaccination coverage was assessed by a two-stage vaccination campaign, and the proportion of feral dogs was estimated by a mark-recapture transect study. RESULTS: The estimated size of the domestic dog population in Iringa was six times larger than official town records assumed, however, the proportion of feral dogs was estimated to account for less than 1% of the whole population. An average of 13% of all households owned dogs which equalled a dog:human ratio of 1:14, or 0.31 dogs per household or 334 dogs km-2. Dog female:male ratio was 1:1.4. The average age of the population was 2.2 years, 52% of all individuals were less than one year old. But mortality within the first year was high (72%). Females became fertile at the age of 10 months and reportedly remained fertile up to the age of 11 years. The average number of litters whelped per fertile female per year was 0.6 with an average of 5.5 pups born per litter. The population growth was estimated at 10% y-1. CONCLUSIONS: Such high birth and death rates result in a rapid replacement of anti-rabies immunised individuals with susceptible ones. This loss in herd immunity needs to be taken into account in the design of rabies control programmes. The very small proportion of truly feral dogs in the population implies that vaccination campaigns aimed at the owned dog population are sufficient to control rabies in urban Iringa, and the same may be valid in other, comparable urban settings. en
dc.description.librarian am2013 en
dc.description.librarian ab2013
dc.description.sponsorship This study was supported partly by a grant from the Swiss Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries KFPE (A.S. Gsell). D.L. Knobel was supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust (No. 071259). en
dc.description.uri en
dc.identifier.citation Gsell et al.: Domestic dog demographic structure and dynamics relevant to rabies control planning in urban areas in Africa: the case of Iringa, Tanzania. BMC Veterinary Research 2012 8:236. en
dc.identifier.issn 1746-6148
dc.identifier.other 10.1186/1746-6148-8-236
dc.identifier.other 6602518021
dc.identifier.other O-7057-2014
dc.identifier.other 0000-0002-0425-3799
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher BioMed Central en
dc.relation.requires Adobe Acrobat Reader en
dc.rights © 2012 Gsell et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License en
dc.subject Domestic dogs en
dc.subject Canine rabies en
dc.subject Iringa, Tanzania en
dc.subject.lcsh Dogs -- Diseases en
dc.subject.lcsh Rabies -- Vaccination en
dc.subject.lcsh Rabies in dogs en
dc.title Domestic dog demographic structure and dynamics relevant to rabies control planning in urban areas in Africa : the case of Iringa, Tanzania en
dc.type Article en

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