Current research methods in rabies diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and control
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During the past 40+ years, I have amassed diverse knowledge and professional abilities related to basic scientific and...
Rabies is an acute progressive encephalitis caused by a lyssavirus. The case fatality of this zoonosis is the highest for any infectious disease. Although laboratory techniques on rabies have progressed greatly over the last century, typically such information falls in disparate locations and is often unavailable for easy access by those with the greatest need. Hence, the opportunity for a visual, methodological catalog is critical for basic research in pathobiology, immunology and molecular biology, as well for applied diagnostics, prophylaxis, therapy and intervention. The time is opportune because a global program is underway for the elimination of human rabies transmitted by dogs through mass canine vaccination, requiring multiple tests for risk mitigation and measurement of programmatic success. Advances have occurred in pathogen discovery, characterization, novel biologics and anti-virals. Based on in vitro and animal models, hope has arisen not only for immunization after viral exposure but for potential treatment after illness. Besides direct application to humans and domestic animals, efficacious vaccines may also be distributed to free-ranging wildlife en masse via vaccine-laden baits. The objective of this collection is to: share standardized protocols for detection, characterization and response; promote broader global access to existing methods; produce open networks for research collaborations anew; and ultimately create a pathway for an evidence-based approach for additional knowledge on this neglected disease. We trust this approach will encourage a myriad of scientists to participate in this global endeavor in a trans-disciplinary manner, towards renewed biomedical progress in human and veterinary science and conservation biology.