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Am J Vet Res. 1989 Dec;50(12):2148-54.

Mathematic model for the population biology of rabies in raccoons in the mid-Atlantic states.

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  • 1Section of Animal Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, New Bolton Center, Kennett Square 19348.


A series of coupled differential equations was used to model the temporal dynamics of rabies in raccoons in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The model takes explicit account of the development of natural immunity to rabies and was used to evaluate culling and vaccination elimination strategies. For habitats typical of the mid-Atlantic states, and given the assumptions of the model, it was estimated that elimination of rabies in raccoons by culling may involve the annual removal of over 32% of the raccoon population or the yearly vaccination of up to 99% of the susceptible fraction. Assuming a constant marginal cost for both culling and vaccination, the model suggests that, whatever the actual cost of each method, the cheapest strategy will always involve either culling or vaccination alone. A combined strategy of culling and vaccination will be cheaper than culling alone only when the per capita cost of vaccination is around one-fifth or less the per capita cost of culling.

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