Aspects of rabies epidemiology in Tsumkwe District, Namibia

12 Dec 2012

Aspects of rabies epidemiology were investigated in the Tsumkwe District, Namibia, during December 1993 and January 1994. A cross-sectional seroepidemiological survey for rabies antibodies was carried out in domestic (n = 70) and wild dogs [Lycaon pictus (n = 6)]. An overall seroprevalence rate of 30 % was found in domestic dogs, but it must be borne in mind that seroconversion can result from infections from either rabies or rabies-related viruses. Older dogs were more likely to be seropositive and there was spatial and temporal clustering of seropositivity. No wild dogs were found seropositive. A demographic survey of the domestic-dog population in the area showed that the total dog-population size was 132, or 0,027 dogs per square km . The dog population consisted mainly of young dogs with a median age of 1 ,5 years, and had a female bias of 0,63 males per female. Questionnaire surveys suggested that spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta) and black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas) were the most common larger carnivores found in and around villages, and that dogs were kept mainly for guarding.