Modeling the Transmission Dynamics of Rabies for Dog, Chinese Ferret Badger and Human Interactions in Zhejiang Province, China

Jicai Huang, Shigui Ruan, Yaqin Shu, Xiao Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Human rabies is one of the major public health problems in China with an average of 1977 cases per year. It is estimated that 95% of these human rabies cases are due to dog bites. In recent years, the number of wildlife-associated human rabies cases has increased, particularly in the southeast and northeast regions of mainland China. Chinese ferret badgers (CFBs) are one of the most popular wildlife animals which are distributed mostly in the southeast region of China. Human cases caused by rabid CFB were first recorded in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, in 1994. From 1996 to 2004, more than 30 human cases were caused by CFB bites in Zhejiang Province. In this paper, based on the reported data of the human rabies caused by both dogs and CFB in Zhejiang Province, we propose a multi-host zoonotic model for the dog–CFB–human transmission of rabies. We first evaluate the basic reproduction number R, discuss the stability of the disease-free equilibrium, and study persistence of the disease. Then we use our model to fit the reported data in Zhejiang Province from 2004 to 2017 and forecast the trend of human or livestock rabies. Finally by carrying out sensitivity analysis of the basic reproduction number in terms of parameters, we find that the transmission between dogs and CFB, the quantity of dogs, and the vaccination rate of dogs play important roles in the transmission of rabies. Our study suggests that rabies control and prevention strategies should include enhancing public education and awareness about rabies, increasing dog vaccination rate, reducing the dog and CFB interactions, and avoiding CFB bites or contact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-962
Number of pages24
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019


  • Basic reproduction number
  • Chinese ferret badgers
  • Multi-host zoonotic SEIR model
  • Rabies
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology
  • Mathematics(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pharmacology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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