A major focus of our work is understanding the processes that contribute to disease persistence, and conversely the most effective approaches to eliminate disease. I had the pleasure to co-edit a special issue of the Journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society with Petra Klepac and Jessica Metcalf on the topic: 'Towards the endgame and beyond: complexities and challenges for the elimination of infectious diseases'.
For a disease with a relatively low reproductive number (R0<2), rabies persists on local scales remarkably well. The relative connectivity of populations, the behaviour of rabid animals, and the degree to which control programmes are effectively implemented interact in complex ways to influence persistence. We are working with partners who have been implementing, coordinating and monitoring rabies control programmes in different geographical settings with the aim of achieving elimination. Quantitative analyses of rabies dynamics under the long-term large scale control efforts are providing insights into the factors that help and hinder progress towards this aim.