Av01 is a variant of the challenge virus standard strain of fixed rabies virus that was selected with a neutralizing anti-glycoprotein monoclonal antibody, and has a single amino acid change in the glycoprotein. It is avirulent after both intracerebral and peripheral routes of inoculation in adult mice. In this study, Av01 was found to be neurovirulent with stereotaxic brain inoculation in either the striatum or cerebellum of adult mice. Mice that had been inoculated simultaneously with Av01 by the intracerebral and intrastriatal routes recovered. More infectious virus was present in the brains of mice inoculated intrastriatally than intracerebrally, and more neurons contained rabies virus antigen. However, the topographical distribution of infected neurons was similar with both routes. Serum neutralizing antibodies against rabies virus were produced later and in smaller quantities after intrastriatal inoculation. Av01 is probably neurovirulent after stereotaxic brain inoculation because this route produces both a direct site of viral entry into the central nervous system and a low level of immune stimulation.


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