INTRODUCTION During the second half of the 20th Century, rabies became endemic in European fox populations. Economic and public health consequences were far from negligible Mammalia, I. 64, n° 4, 2000: 391-410. (Rotivel et al. 1997). Oral vaccination campaigns have been successful in several European countries, leading to a major decrease in the number of rabies cases (Stöhr and Meslin 1996). Rabies control has raised new concerns about possible problems associated with increasing fox number, damage to poultry and game and the risk of emergence of zoonoses (Artois 1997) such as infestation with tape-worm. Echinococcus multilocularis (Jenkins and Craig 1992: Lucius and Bilger 1995; Eckert 1996). Rabies transmission among foxes is density-dependent. Thus, an increase in fox abundance, whatever its cause, could reduce the efficiency of rabies control and facilitate the re-infection of rabies-free areas (Blancou 1985 ; Blancou et al. 1991). For a constant per capita vaccination rate, an increase in the density of susceptible foxes would support the infection, at a low but sustainable level (Aubert and Artois 1988 ; Blancou et al. 1991 ; Aubert 1994). Newborn and juvenile foxes make up a large proportion of the susceptible population because they are difficult to vaccinate
Mammalia - International Journal of the Systematics, Biology and Ecology of Mammals – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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