Demographic Factors Influencing the Rabies Antibody Prevalence of Dogs in Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria

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Abstract

Canine rabies is enzootic in Nigeria occurring in all parts of the country. Rabies has been reported in Niger state neighbouring the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the movement of rabid dogs between the neighbour states is possible. Hence, a study to determine the immune status of dogs in Abuja to rabies was necessary. A cross sectional study was carried out to assess the rabies antibody titre of owned dogs and the rabies knowledge, attitude and practices of the dog owners. Serum samples from 276 dogs were collected and a structured questionnaire administered to each dog owner using a personal interview method. Associations between the demographic variables, protection titres and knowledge attitude and practice (KAP) were assessed using χ2 analysis. Sera samples were analysed to measure for rabies antibodies using an indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Out of the 276 dogs sampled, 229 (83 %) had a certified antirabies vaccination record. All vaccinated dogs had antibody titre against rabies greater than 0.6 EU.ml–1. The dog owners had a mean knowledge score of 63.54 ± 23.82 %, mean attitude score of 81.45 ± 20.37 % and the mean practice score was 91.3 ± 21.39 %. There was a significant association between the vaccination status of the dogs and categorized knowledge score (P < 0.05), attitude score (P < 0.05) and practice score (P < 0.05). A large proportion of the dogs (47.4 %) owned by residents of satellite towns were not vaccinated against rabies. Hence mass vaccination of dogs in these suburban settlements is strongly recommended

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