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Virus Res. 2013 May;173(2):415-20. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2012.12.013. Epub 2013 Jan 11.

Antigenic and genetic characterization of rabies virus isolates from Uruguay.

Author information

1
National Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, M.C. Rubino, Ruta 8 km 17.500, Montevideo, Uruguay. hguarino@mgap.gub.uy

Abstract

After 25 years without any reported cases of rabies in Uruguay, the northern region of the country experienced an epizootic of bovine paralytic rabies in October 2007. The outbreak affected bovines and equines, and the main source of infection was the bat Desmodus rotundus, the only hematophagous species in the country. From October 2007 to July 2008, 42 bovine, 3 equine and 120 chiropteran samples were submitted to the National Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for rabies testing. A total of 12 samples (7 bovine, 2 equine and 3 from D. rotundus) were positive by the fluorescent antibody test, and viruses were isolated by the mouse inoculation test. The objective of this study was to compare the antigenic and genetic characteristics of these isolates and three isolates from insectivorous bats from other regions. Antigenic typing using a panel of eight monoclonal antibodies identified all 12 viruses as variant 3 (AgV3), a variant associated with D. rotundus. Two isolates from insectivorous bats (Tadarida brasiliensis and Molossus sp.) were characterized as antigenic variant 4 (AgV4) while the third, from Myotis sp., could not be characterized using this panel as its reactivity pattern did not match that of any of the known antigenic variants. Partial N-gene sequences (nt 149-1420) of these isolates were aligned with homologous sequences derived from GenBank by the CLUSTAL/W method and used to build a neighbor-joining distance tree with the Kimura 2-parameter model. All 12 isolates were genetically grouped into the D. rotundus cluster as they shared 100% identity. In the phylogenetic analysis, the three isolates from insectivorous bats segregated into three clusters: one related to T. brasiliensis, one to Myotis sp. and the other to Lasiurus sp., although the isolate associated with the latter came from a Molossus sp. specimen. These results indicate that AgV3 was associated with the outbreak of bovine paralytic rabies in Uruguay. This is the first report of rabies virus having been detected in non-hematophagous bats in this country.

PMID:
23318595
DOI:
10.1016/j.virusres.2012.12.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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