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Article

Dog Ecology, Bite Incidence, and Disease Awareness: A Cross-Sectional Survey among a Rabies-Affected Community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

1
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, P.O. Box, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland
2
University of Basel, Petersplatz 1, CH-4001 Basel, Switzerland
3
Université Pédagogique Nationale de Kinshasa, BP 8815 Kinshasa, Congo
4
Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB), Avenue de la Démocratie, BP 1197 Kinshasa/Gombe, Congo
5
Clinique Vétérinaire d’Etat de Matadi, Matadi, Congo
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Vaccines 2019, 7(3), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines7030098
Received: 31 July 2019 / Revised: 20 August 2019 / Accepted: 22 August 2019 / Published: 26 August 2019
Despite the existence of safe and efficacious human and animal rabies vaccines, millions of people remain at risk of exposure to this deadly zoonotic disease through bites of infected dogs. Sub-Saharan African countries, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), bear the highest per capita death rates from rabies where dog vaccination and availability of lifesaving post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is scarce. Mass dog vaccination is the most cost-effective and sustainable approach to prevent human rabies deaths. We conducted a cross-sectional household survey in a rabies-affected community in Matadi, DRC, to estimate the size of the owned dog population and dog bite incidence and assess knowledge and practices regarding rabies, as preparation for future mass dog vaccination campaigns. Our study revealed that the owned dog population in Matadi was almost ten times larger than assumed by local veterinary officials, with a large proportion of free-roaming unvaccinated dogs. The annual dog bite incidence of 5.2 per 1000 person years was high, whereas community rabies knowledge was low resulting in poor practices. Given these findings, human rabies deaths are likely to occur in this community. Lack of disease awareness could negatively affect participation in future mass dog vaccination campaigns. A public sensitization campaign is needed to promote appropriate rabies prevention (washing bite wounds and PEP) and control (dog vaccination) measures in this community. View Full-Text
Keywords: Rabies; free-roaming dog; dog ecology; dog bite incidence; zoonoses; Democratic Republic of the Congo Rabies; free-roaming dog; dog ecology; dog bite incidence; zoonoses; Democratic Republic of the Congo
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mbilo, C.; Kabongo, J.-B.; Pyana, P.P.; Nlonda, L.; Nzita, R.W.; Luntadila, B.; Badibanga, B.; Hattendorf, J.; Zinsstag, J. Dog Ecology, Bite Incidence, and Disease Awareness: A Cross-Sectional Survey among a Rabies-Affected Community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Vaccines 2019, 7, 98. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines7030098

AMA Style

Mbilo C, Kabongo J-B, Pyana PP, Nlonda L, Nzita RW, Luntadila B, Badibanga B, Hattendorf J, Zinsstag J. Dog Ecology, Bite Incidence, and Disease Awareness: A Cross-Sectional Survey among a Rabies-Affected Community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Vaccines. 2019; 7(3):98. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines7030098

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mbilo, Céline, Jean-Baptiste Kabongo, Pati Patient Pyana, Léon Nlonda, Raymond Williams Nzita, Bobo Luntadila, Badivé Badibanga, Jan Hattendorf, and Jakob Zinsstag. 2019. "Dog Ecology, Bite Incidence, and Disease Awareness: A Cross-Sectional Survey among a Rabies-Affected Community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo" Vaccines 7, no. 3: 98. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines7030098

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