Bringing "One-health to rabies research in India: integrated animal ecology, movement ecology and human health"
This Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance-funded project combines animal ecology, disease ecology and human health in a “OneHealth” framework to understand rabies dynamics in India. With study sites spread across Karnataka, Maharashtra and Haryana, this project also aims to understand how rabies spills over or back from dogs to wild carnivores. Rabies is a wholly preventable zoonotic disease that kills ~20,000 people/annum in India. The failure to control rabies in India is mainly due to a lack of adequate knowledge about rabies dynamics in free-ranging dogs and the absence of an organized surveillance system. This project will address some of this knowledge gap by using a triangulation approach of field research, laboratory studies and model simulations to understand the dynamics and potential pathways of rabies transmission among multiple hosts along the urban-rural landscape. I propose to integrate the fields of animal ecology, disease ecology, and human health to understand 1) whether rabies spreads from high-density dog populations in urban areas to rural areas; 2) how rabies spills over or spills back from dogs to wild carnivores; 3) the effectiveness of ongoing vaccination strategies in combating rabies and 4) the scale of underreporting and treatment of dog-bite victims in rural areas.