Animal rabies situation in Sultanate of Oman (2017–2019)

Abstract

Successful preventive and control measures of zoonotic diseases require updated epidemiological data. Sylvatic rabies is endemic in Oman since 1990. Studying of the prevalence of animal rabies in Oman (2017–2019) was the goal of the current study besides the clinical–histopathological investigations of rabies in different animal species. A total of 117 whole brains of different animal species from different regions of Oman were examined by fluorescent antibody test (FAT) and histopathology for rabies during 2017–2019. Sixty-four samples (54.7%) were positive for rabies by FAT. The most affected species were goat (53.1%) followed by camel (18.8%), which pose a great risk to farmers and veterinarians. Positive fox cases were (10.9%). Most confirmed cases of animal rabies were submitted from Northern regions of Oman. Rabies was reported recently in Al Wusta among wild ruminants, Central Oman. The seasonal cycle of animal rabies in Oman was year-round with the peak from December to April. The clinical signs and neuropathological findings were nearly similar in different animal species. Histopathology-positive cases had Negri bodies in pyramidal and purkinje neurons, non-suppurative encephalitis features, and neuronal degeneration and necrosis. The sensitivity and specificity of histopathological diagnosis of rabies in different animals were 76.47% and 100.00%, respectively. Finally, sylvatic rabies remains a major challenge to the public and animal health in Oman. Although of the value of histopathological diagnosis of rabies if no other technique is available, other complementary tests must be employed to confirm negative results.

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Acknowledgements

All field veterinarians in MAF, Oman, are sincerely thanked by the authors for their valuable role in sample collection. The authors wish to thank Mr. Taha Al Sabhi, Central Laboratory for Animal Health, for his valuable help and support.

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Correspondence to Mahmoud S. El-Neweshy.

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El-Neweshy, M.S., Al Mayahi, N., Al Mamari, W. et al. Animal rabies situation in Sultanate of Oman (2017–2019). Trop Anim Health Prod (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-020-02328-0

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Keywords

  • Rabies
  • Oman
  • FAT
  • Histopathology
  • Epidemiology
  • Negri bodies