Dynamics of viral index infections in novel hosts

Why most cross-species transmissions fail to establish ongoing transmission in the newly infected species remains poorly understood. Examining cross-species inoculations involving rabies, we show that mismatches in virulence which are predictable from host and viral factors make sustained transmission in the novel host less likely. These mechanistic insights help to explain and predict host shift events and highlight meta-analyses of existing experimental inoculation data as a powerful and generalisable approach for understanding the dynamics of index infections in novel species.

Rabies virus

A mini review for *Trends in Microbiology*'s "Microbe of the Month" series, describing the transmission cycle of rabies virus in domestic dogs and highlighting the importance of a One Health approach to control and eliminate human rabies deaths.

The role of viral evolution in rabies host shifts and emergence

Despite its ability to infect all mammals, Rabies virus persists in numerous species-specific cycles that rarely sustain transmission in alternative species. The determinants of these species-associations and the adaptive significance of genetic …

A Bayesian approach for inferring the dynamics of partially observed endemic infectious diseases from space-time-genetic data

We describe a statistical framework for reconstructing the sequence of transmission events between observed cases of an endemic infectious disease using genetic, temporal and spatial information. Previous approaches to reconstructing transmission …

Dog rabies in southern Africa: regional surveillance and phylogeographical analyses are an important component of control and elimination strategies

In the resource-poor settings where dog rabies remains endemic, the demonstration of a need to divert scarce funds towards exhaustive surveillance activities is no easy task. Here, we investigate a recent case of human rabies in South Africa, which …