Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

The emergence of wildlife species as a source of human rabies infection in Brazil

  • S. R. FAVORETTO (a1) (a2), C. C. de MATTOS (a3), C. A. de MATTOS (a3), A. C. A. CAMPOS (a2), D. R. V. SACRAMENTO (a2) (a4) and E. L. DURIGON (a2)...

Forty-five human rabies virus isolates from a wide geographical area of Brazil were characterized using an anti-nucleoprotein monoclonal antibody panel and by partial nucleotide sequencing analysis of the nucleoprotein gene. Three major antigenic groups related to the antigenic variants maintained in domestic dogs, vampire bats and marmosets were identified. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the viruses from dog-related cases segregated into four sister clades: three associated with dog-endemic cycles in Brazil and one with the crab-eating fox cycle in the northeastern region of the country. The vampire bat- and marmoset-related viruses formed two independent groups. The topology of these clades was conserved when these samples were compared to virus representatives of the currently reported rabies endemic cycles in the Americas. These results indicated the presence of multiple endemic transmission cycles maintained in four different reservoirs, domestic dogs, crab-eating foxes, vampire bats and marmosets, which are being transmitted directly to humans and should be considered as a high-risk for rabies infection.

Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: S. R. Favoretto, Ph.D., Instituto Pasteur of São Paulo, Brazil, Av. Paulista, 393 Paraíso, São Paulo, SP, Brasil, CEP 01311000. (Email:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

2. HC Ertl . Novel vaccines to human rabies. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2009; 3(9): e515.

7. SR Favoretto , Reemergence of rabies virus maintained by dogs in humans and terrestrial wildlife in Ceará State, Brazil. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2006; 12: 19781981.

8. SR Favoretto , Rabies in marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) from the State of Ceará, Brazil. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2001; 7: 10621065.

9. P Carnieli Jr., Characterization of Rabies virus isolated from canids and identification of the main wild canid host in northeastern Brazil. Virus Research 2008; 131: 3346.

10. AC Banyard , Bats and lyssaviruses. Advances in Virus Research 2011; 79: 239289.

11. AA King , GS Turner . Rabies: a review. Journal of Comparative Pathology 1993; 108: 139.

12. SA Nadin-Davis . Polymerase chain reaction protocols for rabies virus discrimination. Journal of Virological Methods 1998; 75: 18.

14. P Gautret , Risk for rabies importation from north Africa. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2011; 17: 21872193.

15. G Gongal , AE Wright . Human rabies in the WHO southeast Asia region: forward steps for elimination. Advances in Preventive Medicine 2011; 2011: 383870.

20. SR Favoretto , Antigenic typing of Brazilian rabies virus samples isolated from animals and humans, 1989–2000. Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo 2002; 44: 9195.

22. EST da Rosa , Bat-transmitted human rabies outbreaks, Brazilian Amazon. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2006; 12: 11971202.

23. A Belotto , Overview of rabies in the Americas. Virus Research 2005; 111: 512.

24. KK Conzelman , JK Cox , LG Schneider , HJ Thiel . Molecular cloning and complete sequence of the attenuated rabies virus SADB19. Virology 1990; 175: 485499.

27. M Favi , First case of human rabies in Chile caused by an insectivorous bat virus variant. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2002; 8: 7981.

28. MF Almeida , Rabies diagnosis and serology in bats from the State of São Paulo, Brazil. Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical 2011; 44: 140145.

29. A Albas , Molecular characterization of rabies virus isolated from non-haematophagous bats in Brazil. Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical 2011; 44: 678683.

30. LH Queiroz , Rabies in southeast Brazil: a change in the epidemiological pattern. Archives of Virology 2012; 157: 93105.

31. P Carnieli Jr, Genetic characterization of Rabies virus isolated from cattle between 1997 and 2002 in an epizootic area in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Virus Research 2009; 144: 215224.

32. SR Favoretto , Rabies virus detection and phylogenetic studies in samples from an exhumed human. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2005; 41: 413414.

33. R Oliveira , Postmortem confirmation of human rabies source. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2006; 12: 867869.

35. CI Macedo , Genetic characterization of rabies virus isolated from bovines and equines between 2007 and 2008, in the States of São Paulo and Minas Gerais. Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical 2010; 43: 116120.

39. JG Castilho , A comparative study of rabies virus isolates from hematophagous bats in Brazil. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 2010; 46: 13351339.

40. A Vellasco-Villa , New rabies virus variant in Mexican immigrant. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2008; 14: 19061908.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 29 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 206 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 25th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.