Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/97315
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Type: Journal article
Title: The phylogeography of rabies in Grenada, West Indies, and implications for control
Author: Zieger, U.
Marston, D.
Sharma, R.
Chikweto, A.
Tiwari, K.
Sayyid, M.
Louison, B.
Goharriz, H.
Voller, K.
Breed, A.
Werling, D.
Fooks, A.
Horton, D.
Citation: PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 2014; 8(10):e3251-1-e3251-11
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1935-2727
1935-2735
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Ulrike Zieger, Denise A. Marston, Ravindra Sharma, Alfred Chikweto, Keshaw Tiwari, Muzzamil Sayyid, Bowen Louison, Hooman Goharriz, Katja Voller, Andrew C. Breed, Dirk Werling, Anthony R. Fooks, Daniel L. Horton
Abstract: In Grenada, West Indies, rabies is endemic, and is thought to be maintained in a wildlife host, the small Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) with occasional spillover into other hosts. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to improve understanding of rabies epidemiology in Grenada and to inform rabies control policy. Mongooses were trapped island-wide between April 2011 and March 2013 and examined for the presence of Rabies virus (RABV) antigen using the direct fluorescent antibody test (dFAT) and PCR, and for serum neutralizing antibodies (SNA) using the fluorescent antibody virus neutralization test (FAVN). An additional cohort of brain samples from clinical rabies suspects submitted between April 2011 and March 2014 were also investigated for the presence of virus. Two of the 171 (1.7%) live-trapped mongooses were RABV positive by FAT and PCR, and 20 (11.7%) had SNAs. Rabies was diagnosed in 31 of the submitted animals with suspicious clinical signs: 16 mongooses, 12 dogs, 2 cats and 1 goat. Our investigation has revealed that rabies infection spread from the northeast to the southwest of Grenada within the study period. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the viruses from Grenada formed a monophyletic clade within the cosmopolitan lineage with a common ancestor predicted to have occurred recently (6-23 years ago), and are distinct from those found in Cuba and Puerto Rico, where mongoose rabies is also endemic. These data suggest that it is likely that this specific strain of RABV was imported from European regions rather than the Americas. These data contribute essential information for any potential rabies control program in Grenada and demonstrate the importance of a sound evidence base for planning interventions.
Keywords: Animals; Goats; Dogs; Cats; Herpestidae; Rabies virus; Rabies; Rabies Vaccines; Antigens, Viral; Disease Reservoirs; Communicable Disease Control; Phylogeny; Cuba; Grenada; Puerto Rico; Phylogeography
Rights: © 2014 Zieger et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
RMID: 0030029719
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003251
Appears in Collections:Animal and Veterinary Sciences publications

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