A serosurvey of rabies antibodies among domestic dogs (Canis familiaris, n=178), spotted hyaenas (Crocuta
crocuta, n=72) and African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus, n=18) of the Masai Mara, Kenya, was carried
out. Rabies antibodies were found in 9,6% of the domestic dog sera, but all wild dog and hyaena
sera were negative.
Rabies has been confirmed in this region among the above species as well as in a domestic cat (Felis
catus) and a cow (Bos indicus) by fluorescent antibody tests (FAT) and/or histopathology. The disease
was confirmed in three wild dogs in 1989 and in a fourth dog in early 1991.
In 1992, a spotted hyaena attacked six people, one of whom died; the hyaena brain was positive for
rabies. To date, rabies has been confirmed in one domestic cow (n=22; 4,5%), one domestic cat
(n=9; 11,1%) and five domestic dogs (n=32; 15,6%). The wild dog cases exhibited paralytic rabies
whereas in the hyaena, domestic cat and domestic dogs furious rabies was observed. The dynamics
of rabies in this ecosystem is not yet fully understood, but based on these preliminary data it is suspected
that domestic dogs play a primary role in its maintenance.
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