Modeling the geographic spread of rabies in China.PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015 May; 9(5):e0003772.PN
In order to investigate how the movement of dogs affects the geographically inter-provincial spread of rabies in Mainland China, we propose a multi-patch model to describe the transmission dynamics of rabies between dogs and humans, in which each province is regarded as a patch. In each patch the submodel consists of susceptible, exposed, infectious, and vaccinated subpopulations of both dogs and humans and describes the spread of rabies among dogs and from infectious dogs to humans. The existence of the disease-free equilibrium is discussed, the basic reproduction number is calculated, and the effect of moving rates of dogs between patches on the basic reproduction number is studied. To investigate the rabies virus clades lineages, the two-patch submodel is used to simulate the human rabies data from Guizhou and Guangxi, Hebei and Fujian, and Sichuan and Shaanxi, respectively. It is found that the basic reproduction number of the two-patch model could be larger than one even if the isolated basic reproduction number of each patch is less than one. This indicates that the immigration of dogs may make the disease endemic even if the disease dies out in each isolated patch when there is no immigration. In order to reduce and prevent geographical spread of rabies in China, our results suggest that the management of dog markets and trades needs to be regulated, and transportation of dogs has to be better monitored and under constant surveillance.