Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The Phylogeography of Rabies in Grenada, West Indies, and Implications for Control

Zieger, U; Marston, D A; Sharma, R; Chikweto, A; Tiwari, K; Sayyid, M; Louison, B; Goharriz, H; Voller, K; Breed, A C; Werling, D; Fooks, A R; Horton, D L


U Zieger

D A Marston

R Sharma

A Chikweto

K Tiwari

M Sayyid

B Louison

H Goharriz

K Voller

A C Breed

D Werling

A R Fooks

D L Horton


In Grenada, West Indies, rabies is endemic, and is thought to be maintained in a wildlife host, the small Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) with occasional spillover into other hosts. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to improve understanding of rabies epidemiology in Grenada and to inform rabies control policy. Mongooses were trapped island-wide between April 2011 and March 2013 and examined for the presence of Rabies virus (RABV) antigen using the direct fluorescent antibody test (dFAT) and PCR, and for serum neutralizing antibodies (SNA) using the fluorescent antibody virus neutralization test (FAVN). An additional cohort of brain samples from clinical rabies suspects submitted between April 2011 and March 2014 were also investigated for the presence of virus. Two of the 171 (1.7%) live-trapped mongooses were RABV positive by FAT and PCR, and 20 (11.7%) had SNAs. Rabies was diagnosed in 31 of the submitted animals with suspicious clinical signs: 16 mongooses, 12 dogs, 2 cats and 1 goat. Our investigation has revealed that rabies infection spread from the northeast to the southwest of Grenada within the study period. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the viruses from Grenada formed a monophyletic clade within the cosmopolitan lineage with a common ancestor predicted to have occurred recently (6–23 years ago), and are distinct from those found in Cuba and Puerto Rico, where mongoose rabies is also endemic. These data suggest that it is likely that this specific strain of RABV was imported from European regions rather than the Americas. These data contribute essential information for any potential rabies control program in Grenada and demonstrate the importance of a sound evidence base for planning interventions.


Zieger, U., Marston, D. A., Sharma, R., Chikweto, A., Tiwari, K., Sayyid, M., …Horton, D. L. (in press). The Phylogeography of Rabies in Grenada, West Indies, and Implications for Control. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 8(10), e3251.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 8, 2014
Deposit Date Nov 11, 2014
Publicly Available Date Feb 11, 2019
Print ISSN 1935-2727
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 10
Pages e3251
Public URL
Additional Information Corporate Creators : Adelaide, AHVLA, Liverpool, St George's, Surrey


You might also like

Downloadable Citations