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1 October 2010 A Comparative Study of Rabies Virus Isolates from Hematophagous Bats in Brazil
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The Brazilian chiropteran fauna consists of 167 species; of which, three are hematophagous: the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus), the white-winged vampire bat (Diaemus youngi), and the hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata). The aim of this study was to describe the isolation of Rabies virus from common and hairy-legged vampire bats and to report the first comparative antigenic and genetic studies of isolates from these bats. Antigenic and genetic typing of both isolates identified them as antigenic variant 3 (AgV3), the variant frequently isolated from common vampire bats. Phylogenetic analysis showed 99.3% identity between the isolates. This is the first time since 1934 that Rabies virus has been isolated from hairy-legged vampire bats in Brazil. Our analysis provides evidence that the existence of rabies-positive isolates from hairy-legged vampire bats may be the result of an interspecific rabies transmission event from common vampire bats and suggests that roost cohabitation may occur.

Juliana G. Castilho, Pedro Carnieli, Rafael N. Oliveira, Willian O. Fahl, Rosangela Cavalcante, Antonio A. Santana, Wellington L. G. A. Rosa, Maria L. Carrieri, and Ivanete Kotait "A Comparative Study of Rabies Virus Isolates from Hematophagous Bats in Brazil," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 46(4), 1335-1339, (1 October 2010).
Received: 24 April 2009; Accepted: 1 July 2010; Published: 1 October 2010

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