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Dr Katie Hampson

Dr Katie Hampson

Investigating Strategies for Canine Rabies Elimination
Despite intensive effort and substantial technological progress, only two infectious diseases have been globally eradicated and there is little scientific guidance for programmes aiming to eliminate persistent foci of infection. Rabies is a deadly disease that kills thousands of people annually. Having recently declared global elimination of canine rabies as an objective, the WHO, OIE and FAO are working together to develop a stepwise framework to assist countries reach this goal. The aim of this research is to determine key factors contributing to the success of rabies control programmes, and to identify requirements for achieving elimination. With the help of this Fellowship I will compile data on rabies incidence, control measures and characteristics of populations and landscapes from a diversity of settings. Tapping into my network of collaborators in countries where rabies is a major threat, and capitalizing on large-scale epidemiological studies I have established in Tanzania, I will fit mechanistic models to these data. I will determine the impacts of vaccination on controlling and ultimately eliminating rabies, and will explore strategies for effectively achieving and maintaining freedom from disease. This research will contribute directly to the global framework for canine rabies elimination and shed light on the fundamental question of how acute infectious diseases persist.

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