Conference abstract

Animal rabies in Tunisia

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2017:4(5).08 Dec 2017.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2017.4.5.441

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Keywords: Rabies, animal rabies, Tunisia

Animal rabies in Tunisia

Habib Kharmachi1,&

1National Reference Rabies Laboratory, Pasteur Institute of Tunis, Tunisia

&Corresponding author
Habib Kharmachi, National Reference Rabies Laboratory, Pasteur Institute of Tunis, Tunisia


Introduction: the dog is the principal reservoir and transmitter of rabies which is enzootic and endemic in Tunisia. Animal rabies is a source of deplorable deaths in man which is a main victim of this major zoonosis.

Methods: systemic review of national data.

Results: effective control of rabies started with implementation of a National Rabies Control Program (NRCP) since 1982. NRCP is based on an interdepartmental network including ministries of health, of agriculture and of interior. The three main axes of the program are: mass vaccination of dog population (annual campaigns; owner’s dogs; free of charge), post-exposure prophylaxis for all peoples exposed (free of charge), dog population management (fight against stray dogs…). The unique national reference rabies laboratory (NRRL) located in Pasteur Institute of Tunis ensures human and animal rabies diagnosis for epidemiological surveillance. Regional veterinary services and Health regional services ensure collect of specimen of rabies suspected cases. NRCP activities have reduced significantly the incidence of human and animal rabies cases. Nevertheless, temporal and geographical fluctuations of the rabies incidence were registered, with succession of recrudescence and fall of incidence periods. The last years were marked by recrudescence of rabies incidence (405 confirmed cases in animals and 6 human rabies confirmed cases in 2015). The ultimate goal of eliminating human rabies has not yet had reached, but the results have shown that it is possible to significantly control rabies, greatly reduce the incidence of animal rabies, and to achieve the goal of zero cases of human rabies (example: in 1985, 1988, 2001 and 2009).

Conclusion: to improve efficient control of rabies, we need even more will and more suitable means and a better organization.