Assessing the rabies control and surveillance systems in Brazil: an experience of measures toward bats after the halt of massive vaccination of dogs and cats in Campinas, Sao Paulo

Prev Vet Med. 2013 Aug 1;111(1-2):126-33. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2013.03.007. Epub 2013 Apr 15.


Bats are less vulnerable to forest fragmentation than any other mammal, and for that reason, some species can disperse to peri-urban or urban areas. Insectivorous bats are abundant in urban areas due to the density of artificial roosts and insects attracted by city lights. Inter-species transmission of the rabies virus between bats can occur, and this is the most probable mechanism of virus circulation in bat populations. Bats can also transmit the rabies virus to other mammal species, like dogs and cats. With the halt of dog and cat vaccination campaigns in 2010, the importance of rabies surveillance in bats has increased in Brazil. A cross-sectional study performed in Campinas, Sao Paulo State, using data from the passive surveillance system for bats showed that rabies-positive bats from the families Molossidae, Phyllostomidae and Vespertilionidae were found in a peri-urban area. In these areas, dog and cat emergency vaccination (vaccination blockage) was recommended after the halt of the massive vaccination campaign in 2010. This control strategy was able to increase the proportion of vaccinated animals around a critical value of 50% and even with a higher probability of infectious contact between bats and dogs or cats in the vaccination blockage areas, no dog or cat rabies case was observed, evidencing the importance of the implementation of strategic rabies control measures in this new epidemiological scenario.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brazil
  • Cat Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cat Diseases / transmission*
  • Cat Diseases / virology
  • Cats
  • Chiroptera*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Reservoirs / veterinary*
  • Disease Reservoirs / virology
  • Dog Diseases / prevention & control
  • Dog Diseases / transmission*
  • Dog Diseases / virology
  • Dogs
  • Rabies / prevention & control
  • Rabies / transmission
  • Rabies / veterinary*
  • Rabies / virology
  • Rabies virus / physiology
  • Vaccination / veterinary