Rabies in canines with special reference to wild animals

  • S. Roy
  • B. Rooplai
  • M. Roy


Rabies is one of the oldest zoonotic disease which continues to pose a significant threat to animals and
humans in most parts of the world affecting the central nervous system. Rabies otherwise 'rabere' in
Latin means 'to be mad.' The disease is known since the advent of civilization. The first official
documentation of rabies appeared in the pre-mosaic Eshmuna code of Babylon in the twenty-third
century BC. However, it was Louis Pasteur in 1880's who identified a virus as the cause of the disease.
Though rabies is a preventable viral zoonosis by vaccines still it remains an important public health issue
in the developing countries which is evident from the fact that globally this devasting disease is
responsible for more than 60,000 human deaths, while approximately 15 million people receive rabies
post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) annually (Dietzschold et al. 2003; Kuzmin et al. 2005; Wilde et al. 2013).
Despite of global vast attempt and implementation of extensive control schemes and public health
awareness programmes, still over 95% of the mortality happens in Asia and Africa, where canine rabies
is enzootic (WHO 2016). In India, about 20,000 human deaths occur each year by the bite of rabid dog
(Sudarshan et al. 2006). Rabies in human always occurs as fatal disease inspite of advanced therapeutic
measures. Based on severity of mortality in humans, rabies stays in seventh position among the
infectious diseases present in the globe (Wyatt 2007).

Special Article