A molecular epidemiological study of the rabies virus currently prevalent in France was carried out by directly sequencing polymerase chain reaction-amplified genes. The rabies virus pseudogene Ψ was chosen as the most divergent genomic area, and as such the best ‘clock’ for measuring virus evolution. Sequence comparisons between 12 wild rabies virus isolates indicated strong conservation whatever the host and wherever the virus had been isolated. This holds true for a unique wild reservoir, the fox. On the other hand, a good correlation between genetic and geographical criteria indicates a slow evolution of the wild virus in parallel with the spatio-temporal progression of the epizootic. In contrast to their intrinsic homogeneity (about 2% divergence), the wild isolate sequences showed a marked divergence from those of vaccine seed strains (about 14.7%). This finding invites world-wide molecular epidemiological studies, particularly in countries in which vaccination failures have been reported.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Most cited this month Most Cited RSS feed

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error