Jump to Footer

Darryn   Knobel BVSc MSc MRCVS PhD

Director, Center for Conservation Medicine and Ecosystem Health, Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health


Courses Taught/Teaching:

BVSc Veterinary Medicine Semester 4, VMS 5475: Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology
University of Pretoria MSc Zoology
University of Pretoria PhD University of Edinburgh


Non-specific protective effects of rabies vaccine in animals and people

Population ecology and humane population management of owned, free-roaming dogs

Kolo, F, Conan, A, Clift, S, Henning, A, Knobel, DL. Age- and sex-specific rates and causes of mortality in an owned, free-roaming dog population. University of Pretoria.

Grover, M, Bessell, P, Conan, A, Knobel, DL. Epidemiology of dog rabies at a wildlife interface in the South African lowveld. University of Pretoria/University of Edinburgh.


Recent Publications

Conan, A., O’Reilly, C., Ogola, E., Ochieng, B.J., Blackstock, A.J., Omore, R., Ochieng, L., Moke, F., Parsons, M.B., Xiao, L., Roellig, D., Farag, T.H., Nataro, J.P., Kotloff, K.L., Levine, M.M., Mintz, E.D., Breiman, R.F., Cleaveland, C. & Knobel, D.L. (in press) Animal-related factors associated with moderate-to-severe diarrhea in children younger than five years in western Kenya: a matched case-control study. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Knobel, D.L, Arega, S.M., Reininghaus, B., Simpson, G.J.G., Gessner, B.D., Stryhn, H. &. Conan, A. (2017) Rabies vaccine is associated with decreased all-cause mortality in dogs. Vaccine 35: 3844-3849. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.05.095

Hiby, E., Nattras Attema, K., Brimley, R., Hammond-Seaman, A., Jones, M., Rowan, A., Fogelberg, E., Kennedy, M., Balaram, D., Nel, L., Cleaveland, S., Hampson, K., Townsend, S., Lembo, T., Rooney, N., Whay, H.R., Pritchard, J, Murray, J., van Dijk, L., Waran, N., Bacon, H., Knobel, D.L., Tasker, L., Baker, C. & Hiby, L. (2017) Scoping review of indicators and methods used to evaluate the impact of dog population management interventions. BMC Veterinary Research 13:143. doi: 10.1186/s12917-017-1051-2

Aretmiou, E., Conan, A., Knobel, D.L., Thompson, R., Spackman, C. & Kelly, P.J. (2017) Children’s attitudes towards cats on St. Kitts, West Indies. Anthrozoös 30(2): 263-271. doi:10.1080/08927936.2017.1311030

Gessner, B., Knobel, D.L., Conan, A. & Finn, A. (2017) Could the RTS,S/AS01 meningitis safety signal really be a protective effect of rabies vaccine? Vaccine 35(5): 716-721. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.12.067

Berrian, A.M., van Rooyen, J., Martínez-López, B., Knobel, D.L., Simpson, G., Wilkes, M.S. & Conrad, P.A. (2016) One Health profile of a community at the wildlife-domestic animal interface, Mpumalanga, South Africa. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 130: 119-128. doi:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2016.06.007

Barongo, M.B., Bishop, R.P., Fèvre, E.M., Knobel, D.L. & Ssematimba, A. (2016) A mathematical model that simulates control options for African swine fever virus. PLoS ONE 11(7): e0158658. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158658

Byaruhanga, C., Collins, N.E., Knobel, D.L., Chaisi, M.E., Vorster, I., Steyn, H.C. & Oosthuizen, M.C. (2016) Molecular investigation of tick-borne haemoparasite infections among transhumant zebu cattle in Karamoja Region, Uganda. Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports 3-4: 27-35. doi: 10.1016/j.vprsr.2016.06.004

Keehner, J.R., Cruz-Martinez, L. & Knobel, D.L. (2016) Conservation value, history and legal status of non-native white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. Tropical Conservation Science 9(2): 758-775.

van Schalkwyk, O.L., De Clercq, E.M., De Pus, C., Hendrickx, G. & Knobel, D.L. (2016) Heterogeneity in a communal cattle farming system in a zone endemic for foot and mouth disease in South Africa. Geospatial Health 11(2): 338. doi: 10.4081/gh.2016.338

Kolo, A.O., Sibeko-Matjila, K.P., Maina, A.N., Richards, A.L., Knobel, D.L. & Matjila, P.T. (2016) Molecular detection of zoonotic rickettsiae and Anaplasma spp. in domestic dogs and their ectoparasites in Bushbuckridge, South Africa. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 16(4): 245-252. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2015.1849

van Schalkwyk, O.L., Knobel, D.L., De Clercq, E.M., De Pus, C., Hendrickx, G. & Van den Bossche, P. (2016) Description of events where African buffaloes (Syncerus caffer) strayed from the endemic foot-and-mouth disease zone in South Africa, 1998-2008. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases 63(3): 333-347 doi: 10.1111/tbed.12280

Byaruhanga, C., Collins, N.E., Knobel, D.L., Kabasa, W. & Oosthuizen, M.C. (2015) Endemic status of tick-borne infections and tick species diversity among transhumant zebu cattle in Karamoja Region, Uganda: Support for control approaches. Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports 1: 21-30. doi:10.1016/j.vprsr.2015.11.001

Byaruhanga, C., Oosthuizen, M.C., Collins, N.E. & Knobel, D.L. (2015) Using participatory epidemiology to investigate management options and relative importance of tick-borne diseases amongst transhumant zebu cattle in Karamoja region, Uganda. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 122: 287-297. http://dx.doi:org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2015.10.011

Conan, A., Akerele, O., Simpson, G., Reininghaus, B., van Rooyen, J. & Knobel, D.L. (2015) Population dynamics of owned, free-roaming dogs: Implications for rabies control. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 9(11): e0004177. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004177

van Schalkwyk OL, Knobel DL, De Clercq EM, De Pus C, Hendrickx G, Van den Bossche P. Description of events where African buffaloes (Syncerus caffer) strayed from the endemic foot-and-mouth disease zone in South Africa, 1998-2008. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. In press.

Maina AN, Jiang J, Omulo SA, Cutler SJ, Ade F, Ogola E, Feikin DR, Njenga MK, Cleaveland S, Mpoke S, Ng’ang’a Z, Breiman RF, Knobel DL, Richards AL. High prevalence of Rickettsia africae variant in Amblyomma variegatum ticks from domestic mammals in rural western Kenya: implications for human health. Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. In press.

Halliday JEB, Knobel DL, Allan KJ, Bronsvoort M de C, Handel I, Agwanda B, Cutler SJ, Olack B, Ahmed A, Hartskeel RA, Njenga MK, Cleaveland S, Breiman RF. Urban leptospirosis in Africa: A cross-sectional survey of Leptospira infection in rodents in the Kibera urban settlement, Kenya. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2013;89(6):1095-1102. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0415

Bai Y, Malania L, Boonmar S, Suksawat F, Castollo DA, Moran D, Maruyama S, Knobel DL, Kosoy M. Global distribution of bartonella infections in domestic bovids and characterization of Bartonella bovis strains using multi-locus sequence typing. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(11):e80894. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080894

Townsend SE, Sumantra IP, Pudjiatmoko, Bagus GN, Brum E, Cleaveland S, Crafter S, Dewi APM, Dharma DMN, Dushoff J, Girardi J, Gunata IK, Hiby EF, Kalalo C, Knobel DL, Mardiana IW, Putra AAG, Schoonman L, Scott-Orr H, Shand M, Sukanadi IW, Suseno PP, Haydon DT, Hampson K. Designing programs for eliminating canine rabies from islands: Bali, Indonesia as a case study. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2013;7(8):e2372. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002372.

Jiang J, Maina AN, Knobel DL, Cleaveland S, Laudisoit A, Wamburu K, Ogola E, Parola P, Breiman RF, Njenga MK, Richards AL. Molecular detection of Rickettsia felis and Candidatus Rickettsia asemboensis in fleas from human habitats, Asembo, Kenya. Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. 2013;13(8):550-558. doi:10.1089/vbz.2012.1123.

Putra AAG, Hampson K, Girardi J, Hiby E, Knobel DL, Mardiana IW, Townsend S, Scott-Orr H. Response to a rabies epidemic in Bali, Indonesia, 2008-2011. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2013;19(4):648-651. doi:10.3201/eid1904.120380.

Knobel DL, Maina AN, Cutler SJ, Ogola E, Feikin DR, Junghae M, Halliday JEB, Richards AL, Breiman RF, Cleaveland S, Njenga MK. Coxiella burnetii in humans, domestic ruminants and ticks in rural western Kenya. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2013;88(3):513-518. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.12-0169.

Gsell AS, Knobel DL, Kazwala RR, Vounatsou P, Zinsstag J. Domestic dog demographic structure and dynamics relevant to rabies control planning in urban areas in Africa: the case of Iringa, Tanzania. BMC Veterinary Research. 2012;8:236. doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-236.

Omemo P, Ogola E, Omondi G, Wasonga J, Knobel D. Knowledge, attitude and practice towards zoonoses among public health workers in Nyanza province, Kenya. Journal of Public Health in Africa. 2012;3:e22. doi:10.4081/jphia.2012.e22.

Halliday JEB, Daborn C, Auty H, Mtema Z, Lembo T, Bronsvoort M, Handel I, Knobel DL, Hampson K, Cleaveland S. Bringing together emerging and endemic zoonoses surveillance: shared challenges and a common solution. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B. 2012; 367:2872-2880. doi:10.1098/rstb.2011.0362.

Madder M, Walker JG, van Rooyen J, Knobel DL, Vandamme E, Berkvens D, Vanwambeke SO, De Clercq EM. E-Surveillance in animal health: use and evaluation of mobile tools. Parasitology. 2012;139: 1831-1842. doi:10.1017/S0031182012000571.

Maina AN, Knobel DL, Jiang J, Halliday JEB, Feikin DR, Cleaveland S, Ng’ang’a Z, Junghae M, Breiman RF, Richards AL, Njenga MK. Rickettsia felis infection in febrile patients, western Kenya, 2007–2010. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2012;18: 328-331. doi:10.3201/eid1802.111372.

Kennedy LJ, Randall DA, Knobel DL, Brown JJ, Fooks AR, Argaw K, Shiferaw F, Ollier WER, Sillero-Zubiri C, Macdonald DW, Laurenson K. Major histocompatibility complex diversity in the endangered Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis). Tissue Antigens. 2011;77:118-125. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0039.2010.01591.x.

Lembo T, Hampson K, Kaare MT, Ernest E, Knobel DL, Kazwala R, Haydon DT, Cleaveland S. The feasibility of canine rabies elimination in Africa: Dispelling doubts with data. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2010;4: e626. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000626.


14th Meeting of the International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, Merida, Mexico, 3rd-7th November 2015, Oral presentation: “Mass vaccination of 70% of dogs can control rabies, even in rapidly-growing populations of free-roaming dogs with high rates of turnover due to births and death.”

64th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Philadelphia, USA, 25th-29th October 2015, Oral presentation: “Animal-associated risk factors for diarrhea in children under five in western Kenya: the GEMS-ZED case-control study.”

26th International Meeting on Rabies in the Americas, Fort Collins, USA, 4th-8th October 2015, Poster presentation: “Do animal rabies vaccines have a nonspecific protective effect when administered to young puppies in high-mortality settings?”

2nd International Conference on Dog Population Management, Istanbul, Turkey, 3rd-5th March 2015, Oral presentation: “Dynamics of an owned, free-roaming dog population: implications for population management.”

Knobel DL, Akerele OA, Conan A. Dynamics of an owned, free-roaming dog population: Implications for rabies control. 12th Annual Congress of the Southern African Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine. Port Elizabeth, South Africa. August 2014.

Knobel DL, Conan A. Dog ecology and rabies control in Africa. 39th World Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress. Cape Town, South Africa. September 2014.

Knobel DL, Bessell P, Grover M, Reininghaus B. Rabies and wildlife conservation in Africa. 39th World Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress. Cape Town, South Africa. September 2014.

Knobel DL, Wassung M, Meyer A, Conan A. Participatory and active surveillance for disease syndromes in communal cattle at the livestock/wildlife interface, South Africa. 14th International Conference of the Association of Institutions for Tropical Veterinary Medicine. Johannesburg, South Africa. August 2013.

Knobel DL. Q fever in humans and animals in rural western Kenya. 30th World veterinary Congress. Cape Town, South Africa. October 2011.

Knobel DL. Cats, rats and kids: preliminary results from a zoonotic enteric disease study in young children in western Kenya. 30th World veterinary Congress. Cape Town, South Africa. October 2011.



Population ecology and humane population management of owned, free-roaming domestic dogs in underserved communities.

Epidemiology and control of infectious diseases of owned, free-roaming domestic dogs in underserved communities.

Population ecology and humane population management of non-native island fauna in the Caribbean