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Bat Lyssavirus in Thailand


Boonlert Lumlertdacha, DVM*, Supaporn Wacharapluesadee, MSc**,
Lawan Chanhome, DVM*, Thiravat Hemachudha, MD**

* Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, Thai Red Cross Society
** Molecular Biology Laboratory for Neurological Diseases, Department of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University


A study of bat lyssavirus survey was done in Thailand from 2001 to 2003. A total of 932 bats of 11 species were captured in 8 provinces for blood collection and testing for neutralizinng antibodies against rabies virus (RABV), Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) and broader panel of other lyssaviruses (Irkut, Aravan and Khujand). All Thai bat samples were negative to RABV. Sixteen samples of 394 with sufficient volume of serum had detectable neutralizing antibodies against Irkut, Aravan, Khujand and ABL viruses. Another 13.samples were also found to have antibody to ABLV. However, due to insufficient volume, further analysis to other lyssaviruses could not be performed. Nevertheless, this showed that the prevalence of lyssavirus infection in Thai bats could be as high as 7.3% (29/396). The present study showed that natural occurrence of lyssavirus antibodies found in Thai bats were related to newer putative lyssavirus genotype(s) other than those previously described.These data also suggest that several lyssaviruses are in circulation throughout Thailand as well as other Asian countries, such as in the Philippines, Central Asia, and in certain parts of Russia.
The present study and preparation of this article was supported by grants from the Thailand Research Fund and the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, National Science and Technology Development Agency, Thailand

Keyword : Rabies, Lyssavirus, Bat, Zoonosis, Thailand

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