Risk mapping and risk factors analysis of rabies in livestock in Bangladesh using national-level passive surveillance data

Prev Vet Med. 2023 Oct:219:106016. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2023.106016. Epub 2023 Aug 29.


Rabies is a major zoonotic disease around the world, causing significant mortality to both humans and animals, especially in low- and middle-income countries. In Bangladesh, rabies is transmitted mostly by the bite of infected dogs and jackals to humans and domestic livestock, causing severe economic losses and public health hazards. Our study analyzed national passive surveillance data of veterinary hospital-reported rabies cases in cattle, buffalo, sheep, and goats from 2015 to 2017 in all 64 districts of Bangladesh. We used a zero-inflated negative binomial regression model to identify the main environmental and socio-economic risk factors associated with rabies occurrence in livestock, and we used model results to generate risk maps. Our study revealed that monsoon precipitation (RR=1.28, p-value=0.043) was positively associated with rabies cases in livestock, and the percentage of adults who have completed university education was also a significant predictor (RR=0.58, p-value<0.001) likely suggesting that districts with higher education levels tended to have a lower reporting of rabies cases in livestock. The standardized incidence ratio maps and predicted relative risk maps revealed a high risk of rabies cases in southeast areas in Bangladesh. We recommend implementing risk-based vaccination strategies in dogs and jackals in those high-risk areas before monsoon to reduce the burden of rabies cases in domestic ruminants and humans in Bangladesh.

Keywords: Ecological study; Negative binomial regression; Risk-based surveillance; Spatial epidemiology.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bangladesh / epidemiology
  • Bison*
  • Buffaloes
  • Cattle
  • Dogs
  • Goat Diseases*
  • Goats
  • Humans
  • Jackals
  • Livestock
  • Rabies* / epidemiology
  • Rabies* / veterinary
  • Risk Factors
  • Sheep
  • Sheep Diseases*