Differences in the social systems and behaviour of two potentially important hosts of rabies, the African
wild dog and the spotted hyaena, may lead to differences in the epizootiology of the disease in the two
species. Wild dogs are highly social animals in which pack members are in constant physical contact
with each other, but in which inter-pack interactions are rare. Spotted hyaenas are more flexible in their
social systems and behaviour. Clan members interact less frequently than do wild dogs, but inter-clan
contact rates may be high in high density populations. Rabies transmission within wild dog packs should
be rapid, but rare between packs. In spotted hyaenas rabies transmission between clan members may
partially depend on the social status of the animals involved and between packs on the density of hyaenas
in the area.
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