The science of rabies elimination

Year of award: 2017


  • Dr Katie Hampson

    University of Glasgow

Project summary

Rabies is a horrific but preventable disease that kills thousands of people every year in low-income countries. International agencies now advocate investment in rabies control and have set a 2030 target for global elimination. The major research questions are now how to ensure the effective rollout and implementation of control programmes and address challenges during the endgame when incidence has been reduced to low levels and may circulate undetected.

I will address these questions through synergistic research embedded in rabies control programmes around the world. I will pilot approaches for the surveillance of rabies to increase case detection, improve treatment of people bitten by rabid animals and track the spread of infection in real-time. Capitalising on large-scale dog vaccination programmes will enable me to address questions about how long it takes to control rabies and what impedes progress towards elimination. My aim is to build an operational toolbox underpinned by a fundamental understanding of rabies dynamics to guide policy and practice.

Working with policy-makers and practitioners to integrate my research into ongoing rabies control programmes will bring immediate benefits to their implementation and success, and transferrable insights to guide elimination efforts and policy around the world.