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. 2017 Apr;64(2):624-633.
doi: 10.1111/tbed.12428. Epub 2015 Oct 1.

Epidemiological Profile of Wild Rabies in Brazil (2002-2012)

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Epidemiological Profile of Wild Rabies in Brazil (2002-2012)

S M Rocha et al. Transbound Emerg Dis. .

Abstract

Rabies is one of the most important zoonosis in the world with high impact on public health. Studies report the presence of Lyssavirus in reservoirs of the wild cycle, highlighting the role of wild canines, marmosets, and vampire and non-vampire bats as potential vectors of the disease to domestic animals and human beings. Therefore, the reintroduction of rabies in urban environments from reservoirs of the wild cycle is a matter of concern. This study describes the profile of rabies cases documented in Brazil from 2002 to 2012, with emphasis on the wild transmission cycle of the disease. We carried out a descriptive study using records with information on the time of infection, persons with infection and location of confirmed cases of rabies in humans and animals, as well as data on anti-rabies treatments obtained from the Information System of Notifiable Diseases (Sinan) database. Within the study period, 82 cases of rabies transmitted by wild animals to humans were reported, predominantly in rural areas of the northern and north-eastern regions. Of the cases in humans, 72% did not receive post-exposure prophylaxis. Among wild mammals, vampire bats were the most frequent vectors of the disease. In the north-east region, 460 terrestrial wild mammals were reported with confirmed rabies. Over the study period, 1703 bats were reported to carry the rabies virus. In the south-east region, the most frequently reported carriers of the virus were non-vampire bats. The midwest and northern regions presented a lower number of records of rabies cases among terrestrial wild mammals. However, the high number of rabies cases among bovines reflects the role of the vampire bat as a maintainer of the rabies virus in the rural cycle. The present results are key to adjust the planning of rabies control in Brazil to the current epidemiological trends.

Keywords: emerging diseases; epidemiology; wild rabies; wild reservoirs.

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