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Original Research

Emergence of rabies in the Gauteng Province, South Africa: 2010–2011

Claude T. Sabeta, Jacqueline Weyer, Peter Geertsma, Debra Mohale, Jacobeth Miyen, Lucille H. Blumberg, Patricia A. Leman, Baby Phahladira, Wonderful Shumba, Johan Walters, Janusz T. Paweska
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 84, No 1 | a923 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v84i1.923 | © 2013 Claude T. Sabeta, Jacqueline Weyer, Peter Geertsma, Debra Mohale, Jacobeth Miyen, Lucille H. Blumberg, Patricia A. Leman, Baby Phahladira, Wonderful Shumba, Johan Walters, Janusz T. Paweska | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 August 2012 | Published: 26 April 2013

About the author(s)

Claude T. Sabeta, OIE Rabies Reference Laboratory, Agricultural Research Council-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute ARC-OVI, South Africa
Jacqueline Weyer, Centres for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases and Surveillance, National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service, South Africa
Peter Geertsma, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gauteng Veterinary Services, South Africa
Debra Mohale, OIE Rabies Reference Laboratory, Agricultural Research Council-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute ARC-OVI, South Africa
Jacobeth Miyen, OIE Rabies Reference Laboratory, Agricultural Research Council-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute ARC-OVI, South Africa
Lucille H. Blumberg, Centres for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases and Surveillance, National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service, South Africa
Patricia A. Leman, Centres for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases and Surveillance, National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service, South Africa
Baby Phahladira, OIE Rabies Reference Laboratory, Agricultural Research Council-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute ARC-OVI, South Africa
Wonderful Shumba, OIE Rabies Reference Laboratory, Agricultural Research Council-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute ARC-OVI, South Africa
Johan Walters, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gauteng Veterinary Services, South Africa
Janusz T. Paweska, Centres for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases and Surveillance, National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service, South Africa


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Abstract

Canine rabies is enzootic throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, including the Republic of South Africa. Historically, in South Africa the coastal provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape were most affected. Alarmingly, outbreaks of canine rabies have been increasingly reported in the past decade from sites where it has previously been under control. From January 2010 to December 2011, 53 animal rabies cases were confirmed; these were mostly in domestic dogs from southern Johannesburg, which was previously considered to be rabies free. In addition, one case was confirmed in a 26-month old girl who had been scratched by a pet puppy during this period. The introduction of rabies into Gauteng Province was investigated through genetic analysis of rabies positive samples confirmed during the outbreak period. In addition, the nucleotide sequences of incidental cases reported in the province for the past ten years were also included in the analysis. It was found that the recent canine rabies outbreak in the Gauteng Province came from the introduction of the rabies virus from KwaZulu-Natal, with subsequent local spread in the susceptible domestic dog population of southern Johannesburg. The vulnerability of the province was also highlighted through multiple, dead-end introductions in the past ten years. This is the first report of a rabies outbreak in the greater Johannesburg area with evidence of local transmission in the domestic dog population.


Keywords

lyssavirus, rabies, Gauteng, human rabies, South Africa

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Crossref Citations

1. Rabies in South Africa: Where Do We Stand in 2015?
Jacqueline Weyer
Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases  vol: 30  issue: 2  first page: 40  year: 2015  
doi: 10.1080/16089677.2015.1094233