The Science of Rabies Elimination (360G-Wellcome-207569_Z_17_Z)
Rabies is a horrific, but vaccine-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. With regional programmes underway, the major research questions are now how to optimize rollout and impact, addressing challenges as elimination is approached. My fellowship aims to address these questions through synergistic research embedded within large-scale rabies control programmes around the world. Through a large-scale vaccination intervention in Tanzania I will test the hypothesis that rabies circulates at low incidence with spatial correlations in transmission curtailing outbreaks through localized susceptible depletion, and permitting co-circulation of genetically divergent lineages. I will pilot surveillance approaches to increase case detection, improve patient care, track the spread of infection and inform elimination programmes. The resulting data will be used to formulate and parametrize models to investigate strategies to rapidly control rabies, minimize incursion risks, and maintain disease freedom. A global network of scientists, policy-makers, and practitioners provides an enabling environment for my intervention-based research across intercontinental settings. Findings will therefore translate directly into policy at the highest level, delivering impact through timely transferrable insights to guide elimination efforts.
£2,290,232 11 Jul 2017