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J Clin Virol. 2002 Dec;25(3):351-6.

Investigation of a human case of rabies in the United Kingdom.

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  • 1Rabies Research and Diagnostic Group, Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Weybridge, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK.


In May of 2001 a Nigerian woman visiting the United Kingdom presented with fever, headache and difficulty swallowing. Within 24 h she showed a marked deterioration and died shortly afterwards. Autopsy samples from a range of tissues were analysed to confirm a clinical diagnosis of rabies. Phylogenetic analysis of the viral nucleoprotein gene confirmed that this was an infection with a genotype 1 virus (classical rabies) belonging to the Africa 2 group, which is endemic in Northern Africa. Comparison of both the nucleoprotein and glycoprotein coding sequences of this isolate with an imported case of human rabies from 1996, also from Nigeria, showed that the two viruses were 99% homologous.

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