Personal tools
You are here: Home Events Computational ecology approaches for understanding and control of canine rabies

Computational ecology approaches for understanding and control of canine rabies

Research employing computational approaches for understanding ecological patterns takes a wide range of forms and can be driven by a myriad of factors, including different perspectives, disciplines and questions that motivate such work. Here, we present studies in disease ecology and epidemiology, specifically in the context of canine rabies, to demonstrate the versatility of computational ecology approaches to answering both basic science and applied questions. Rabies circulating in domestic dogs has been eliminated from industrialised countries but throughout low and middle-income countries around the world remains a major public health concern, causing thousands of human deaths and costing billions of dollars each year. In addition to allowing us to answer fundamental scientific questions, the approaches we employ have potential to influence both policy and practice in the short-term and over longer time-scales depending on immediate needs of stakeholders and the level of understanding of the system. Our work is based on large-scale simulations of dynamic ecological processes incorporating different levels of biological realism, and fitting of models to data collected at a range of granularities, from individual behaviour to population dynamics locally and across landscapes and continents. We provide examples from our current research, spanning abstract work of general relevance to theoretical metapopulation ecology, and basic ecological science of dog and rabies virus dynamics. We illustrate applied aspects through scenarios of direct policy relevance for control programmes aiming to reduce the burden of disease in endemic settings in sub-Saharan Africa, eliminate rabies from island settings in Southeast Asia, and achieve continent-wide elimination across the Americas.

Document Actions