1887

Abstract

Three urban rabies outbreaks have been reported in Colombia during the last two decades, one of these is occurring in the Caribbean Region (northern Colombia), while the other two occurred almost simultaneously in Arauca (eastern Colombia) and in the Central Region and ended in 1997. In order to derive phylogenetic relationships between rabies viruses isolated in these three areas, 902 nt cDNA fragments encoding the cytoplasmic domain of protein G and a fragment of protein L were obtained by RT-PCR. These amplicons contained the G–L intergenic region and were sequenced to draw phylogenetic trees. Phylogenetic analysis showed three distinct groups of viruses in the study sample. Colombian genetic variant I viruses were isolated in both Arauca and the Central Region. These viruses are apparently extinct in Colombia. Colombian genetic variant II viruses were isolated in the Caribbean Region and are still being transmitted in that area. The third group of viruses consists of viruses isolated from two insectivorous bats, three domestic dogs and a human. According to sequence analysis, the data here indicate that the isolates in this third group are bat rabies virus variants. This finding is the first that associates bats to rabies in Colombian dogs and humans, showing an unsuspected vector threatening animal and public health.

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2003-04-01
2019-10-21
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