Rabies

Course Navigation

Dogs are susceptible to rabies

Rabies was diagnosed for the first time on the African continent during an outbreak in dogs in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa in 1893, although historical writings suggest that suspected rabies cases had previously occurred in that country some time prior to this, in dogs and in humans.

Term: 2013
Published: February 15, 2013
Revised: March 3, 2014

Rabies is an acute, typically fatal, progressive disease of the nervous system of humans and other mammals, caused by infection with virus species in the Lyssavirus genus of the Rhabdoviridae family. The genus Lyssavirus includes rabies virus (RABV) and the so-called rabies-related viruses. The disease is most commonly caused by infection with RABV. Bats are the principal reservoir hosts for the majority of lyssaviruses, but circulation of RABV outside of the Americas is maintained in terrestrial carnivores, and the vast majority of human cases of rabies result from contact with infected domestic dogs. Virus present in saliva late in infection is generally transmitted to susceptible hosts by the bite of diseased animals.

About The Instructor

Prof Darryn Knobel

Prof Darryn Knobel

  • BVSc (Pretoria), MSc (Pretoria), PhD (Edinburgh)
  • Professor, Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
This Work, Rabies, by Prof Darryn Knobel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.