Canine vaccination--providing broader benefits for disease control.Vet Microbiol. 2006 Oct 05; 117(1):43-50.VM
This paper reviews the broader benefits of canine vaccination to human and animal health and welfare with an emphasis on the impacts of mass dog vaccination against rabies in countries of the less-developed world. Domestic dogs are the source of infection for the vast majority (>95%) of cases of human rabies worldwide, and dogs remain the principal reservoir throughout Africa and Asia. Canine vaccination against rabies has been shown to dramatically reduce the number of cases in dogs, the incidence of human animal-bite injuries (and hence the demand for costly post-exposure prophylaxis) and the likely number of human cases, primarily in children. Further benefits include the mitigation of the psychological consequences of rabies in a community, improved attitudes towards animals and animal welfare and reduced livestock losses from canine rabies. Mass vaccination has recently been used in the conservation management of wild carnivore populations threatened by transmission of rabies and canine distemper virus from domestic dog populations. Vaccination of wildlife hosts directly may also provide an option for mitigating infectious disease threats. The development of integrated control measures involving public health, veterinary, wildlife conservation and animal welfare agencies is needed to ensure that control of canine diseases becomes a reality in Africa and Asia. The tools and delivery systems are all available--all that is needed is the political will to free the world from the ongoing tragedy of these diseases.