Detection of rabies virus antigen in brain tissue of dogs slaughtered for human consumption in Taraba State, Nigeria
Rabies as an ancient zoonosis constitutes a threat to public health by causing over 59,000 annual human mortalities worldwide. The aim of this study was to detect rabies virus in brain tissue of dogs slaughtered for human consumption in Taraba State, Nigeria. A total of 150 dogs comprising 136 adults and 14 puppies consisting of 82 males and 68 females was sampled from slaughter points in five Local Government Areas. Brain samples were collected from each dog in labeled sterile sample bottles and screened for rabies virus antigen using direct fluorescent antibody test (DFAT). Results showed that 3 out of the 150 (2%) brain samples screened were positive for rabies virus; out of which 2 were from Unguwan Kasa (14.3%) and 1 was from Quarter Five (7.1%). This therefore suggests the presence of rabies virus in dogs slaughtered for human consumption in Taraba State, Nigeria and their role as reservoirs of the virus. Therefore, there is need for awareness education on safe handling of dog meat to minimize the risk for butchers/meat handlers.
Keywords: Brain samples, dogs, Prevalence, Rabies, Taraba State