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Rev Infect Dis. 1988 Nov-Dec;10 Suppl 4:S615-9.

Biology, ecology, and control of the vampire bat.

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  • 1Food and Agricultural Organization for Latin America, Santiago, Chile.


The importance of the vampire bat as a vector of rabies and its taxonomy, anatomic characteristics, distribution, feeding habits, behavior, and habitat are described. Also described are studies of methods of reducing vampire bat populations. Anticoagulants such as diphenadione and warfarin were shown to be effective in reducing vampire bat populations. These substances were used in different ways: application of the compound to the skin of captured vampires and then the release of the animals to contaminate the rest of the colony; treatment of vampire niches; topical treatment of vampire bites; and systemic treatment of cattle by administration of the anticoagulant intraruminally or intramuscularly. All these methods were shown to be effective and can be used to reduce vampire populations and to decrease the risk of transmission of rabies in enzootic areas.

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