Globally more than 50,000 people die of rabies every year. Most of victims are kids under 15 year of age and are reported from Asia and Africa. There are only limited areas where rabies has been eliminated or historically no incursion of rabies has ever been reported. As more than 99% of rabies death in humans occurs by dog bite, it is evident that the most important and effective preventive measures is canine rabies control. In rabies endemic countries, therefore, every effort to control rabies by vaccination of dogs along with dog population control should be implemented. It has been shown that elimination of canine rabies is feasible even in those countries where the burden of rabies is tremendously high. On the other hand one of the most effective measures taken by rabies-free countries to maintain their rabies-free status is strict import restriction of dogs. In this article the measures implemented in several rabies-free countries or areas to sustain their rabies-free status have been reviewed.
Up to October 2004, dogs and cats imported into Japan were subjected to a quarantine regime which consisted of vaccination and a 30-365 day waiting period in the country of origin and a 14 day quarantine period upon arrival in Japan. This regime was replaced by a new regime, consisting of vaccination, neutralizing antibody level titration and a 180 day waiting period in the country of origin, in November 2004. To evaluate the effect of this policy change, a quantitative risk assessment was undertaken. The risk of rabies entering Japan through the importation of dogs and cats from the United States under the old regime and the new regime was quantitatively assessed and compared. Under the new regime, rabies will enter Japan once every 4932 years (90% confidence interval : 1812-13412 years) through the importation of dogs and cats from the US. Under the old regime, rabies would enter Japan once every 70 years (39-205 years), 83 years (45-267 years) or 190 years (104-609 years) assuming that the animal departs the country of origin 30 days, 180days or 365 days after vaccination, respectively. This indicates the policy change would reduce the risk by a factor of 1/25-1/70.
Taiwan has been considered canine rabies free for 52 years after the elimination of endemic dog rabies in 1961. However, three ferret-badgers (Melogale moschata) were confirmed as rabies and reported to OIE by Taiwan government on July 17, 2013. This was the first rabies positive during rabies test under the surveillance of animals from 1999 in Taiwan. Through inter-ministerial collaboration by the Rabies Control Central Epidemic Command Center established on August 1, 2013, there have been no human infections reported according to the increased health education, vaccination of dogs and cats, and the use of preand postexposure prophylaxis in humans. Interestingly, rabies virus isolated from Taiwan ferret badgers has been a distinct lineage within the group of lineages from Asia, phylogeographically. It was also reported that the most recent common ancestor was originated 91-113 years ago. This was a strong impact for the consideration of a rabies free status in Japan. The last case of indigenous human and animal rabies in Japan was reported in 1956 and 1957, respectively, and, since then, there has been no report about animal rabies. Until now, under the Rabies Prevention Law (MHLW, 1950), the Infectious Diseases Control Law (MHLW, 1998) and the Domestic Animal Infectious Diseases Control Law (MAFF, 1951) substantive efforts to prevent rabies have been adopted by the central and local governments, veterinarians, and physicians (e.g. registration and control of stray dogs, rabies diagnosis in suspected cases, appropriate PEP for human, import and export quarantine of animals, notification system for the importation of animals, rabies vaccination of dogs). However, three imported human cases were reported. In 1970, a college student suffered from rabies in Tokyo after a trip to Nepal where he had been bitten by a stray dog. Two patients returned from the Philippines were coincidentally reported in Kyoto and Yokohama in November 2006 after a 36-year absence (http://idsc.nih.go.jp/iasr/28/325/tpc325.html). Two cases in 2006 were dealt in accordance with The Guideline for Rabies in 2001 (MHLW) in terms of the initial response and medical practice. This guideline played a successful role in those two cases and was result of the follow-up amendment and drill of measures and contingency plan had been deemed because of any inappropriate public health response or delay at an early stage of rabies cases, even in doubt, leading to unnecessary, excessive social anxiety. In addition, the Guideline for Rabies Control in Japan 2013 was come out focusing on an action plan after the confirmation of rabid animals. In reaction to the outbreak of rabies in ferret-badgers in Taiwan, the Guideline for Animal Rabies Survey was also reported on March 2014 for the capacity building of rabies diagnosis and report system on animal rabies in the local government of Japan.
2) Supplements of 39th Congress of Veterinary Epidemiology
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious disease of cloven hoofed livestock animals such as cattle and pigs. Since the FMD is endemic in many Asian countries, Japan always faces the threat of FMD invasion from nearby countries. Therefore, preventive measures against introduction of FMD agents via animals and animal products imported from affected countries should be adequately conducted. In addition, when the outbreak occurred, strict control measures such as prompt destruction of animals in the affected farms and movement restriction in the surrounding farms should be implemented. Although these control measures should be based on the recent scientific knowledge, these knowledge are in many different literatures and finding suitable information in a short occasion is always difficult. In this review, we tried to present the resent knowledge found in scientific papers regarding the feature of FMD virus, symptoms found in infected animals and various routes of infection. In addition, we discussed current strategies taken in Japan and pointed out some issues worth to be considered for improvement of these strategies in future.
We studied the frequency of occurrence of Norovirus food poisoning over 11 years (1998—2008) according to the year, month, week, day, and day of the week of occurrence using the data involving the date of occurrence, number of occurrences, and the number of patients, which were recorded in the 3rd part of Records of food poisoning cases in Japan. The annual frequency of occurrence was higher than the mean from 2003 to 2008 in which the frequency in 2006 was abnormally high and exceeded the upper limit. The occurrence of food poisoning was more in the winter season, and the monthly frequency of occurrence was as follows in a descending order: December, January, February, March, and November. Although no significant difference was observed in the frequency of occurrence between December and January, there was a significant difference when comparing these two months with other months. The frequency of occurrence was therefore the highest in December and January. Regarding the weekly frequency of occurrence, the number of occurrences was higher than the mean between weeks 47 and 14, and the number of patients was greatest between weeks 47 and 13. The frequency of occurrence was significantly higher in week 51 and significantly lower during the New Year holidays between weeks 52 and 1. Regarding the daily frequency of occurrence, the frequency of occurrence was greater than the mean between November 17 and March 31, and the number of patients increased between November 15 and April 2. The frequency of occurrence was especially high during week 51 (mid-December) and December 9, 10, 16, and 23. The frequency of occurrence was lower than the mean during the New Year holidays, including December 29—30 and January 2 and 3. The frequency of occurrence according to the day of the week was as follows in the descending order: Saturday, Sunday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Wednesday. Although no significant difference was observed in the frequency of occurrence between Saturday and Sunday, there was a significant difference when comparing these two days with other days of the week. Therefore, the frequency of occurrence was highest on Saturday and Sunday.
The aim of this study was to use association analysis to identify genetic variants in the swine PROP1 gene that influence reproductive traits. Two novel polymorphisms were detected in the 3′-untranslated region (UTR) (NM_001001263:c.1257 G>T, c.1273 A>G) of PROP1. We then genotyped 39 Landrace purebred and 277 Landrace × Large White crossbred sows and conducted an association analysis using 10 reproductive traits. In the Landrace purebred population, the G allele of the SNP c.1257 G>T and the G allele of the SNP c.1273 A>G were associated with greater number of pigs born alive (PBA) (P<0.01 and P<0.05, respectively). The c.1273 A>G heterozygotes had a significantly greater mean total pigs born (TPB) (P<0.05) and PBA (P<0.01) among the crossbred sows. These results indicated that these PROP1 SNPs associated with some of reproductive traits.
African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks which originated from Africa were chronologically reviewed with emphasis on how they were spread to Europe and the other continents. In 2007, ASF suddenly appeared in the countries in the east end of the Black Sea including Russia. As the disease has been well established in Russia, the strategies for ASF should be planned to fight against its risks from two continents, Africa and Russia (Eurasia). It will be extremely difficult to prevent the entry of ASF-infected wildlife from the countries that share land borders. Special attention should be paid to the fact that more than 50% of the swine population of the world is located in China. Feasibility studies should be performed to separate them from infected boars and feral swine by reinforcing barriers such as the Great Wall of China by adding wire walls and new electro-devices.
Norovirus is a genus in caliciviridae and includes a single species called norwalk virus. Human noroviruses are major pathogens of acute gastroenteritis, especially in winter, and are transmitted via a fecal-oral route, either by ingestion of food or water contaminated with feces or by direct or indirect contact with the vomit or feces of an infected person. The number of patients infected with noroviruses has accounted for half of all of the patients with food poisoning in recent years in Japan. Epidemiological features of norovirus outbreaks have changed in recent years:for instance, foodborne outbreaks associated with foods contaminated from an infected food handler other than bivalve mollusks such as oysters have increased, and outbreaks in elderly facilities have increased. New variant strains of GII.4 have emerged every year or every few years because the genome of GII.4 changes more frequently than the genomes of other genotypes. The emergence of GII.4 2006b and GII.4 Sydney 2012 variants led to many outbreaks in the 2006/07 and 2012/13 seasons, respectively. Point mutations and recombinations in the genome may be responsible for the evolution of noroviruses. Noroviruses have been detected not only in humans but also in animals such as cattle, pigs and mice. There is no direct evidence that noroviruses cause zoonotic transmission, but some reports have indicated that possibility. There is a need for an approach from the viewpoint of zoonosis in the future studies.