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Volume 17, Number 8–August 2011
Novel Lyssavirus in Natterer's Bat, Germany
Author affiliations: Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Wusterhausen, Germany (C.M. Freuling, F.J. Conraths, J. Kliemt, T. Müller); Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany (M. Beer, S. Finke, B. Hoffmann, T.C. Mettenleiter, J.P. Teifke); Lower Saxony State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, Hannover, Germany (B. Keller); Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, Berlin, Germany (E. Mühlbach); and University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover (P. Wohlsein)
Suggested citation for this article
A virus isolated from a Natterer's bat (Myotis nattererii) in Germany was differentiated from other lyssaviruses on the basis of the reaction pattern of a panel of monoclonal antibodies. Phylogenetic analysis supported the assumption that the isolated virus, Bokeloh bat lyssavirus, may represent a new member of the genus Lyssavirus.
Bats have been identified as carriers or reservoirs for a plethora of viruses, including human pathogens like severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, henipaviruses, filoviruses, or lyssaviruses, which cause rabies (1). The genus Lyssavirus within the family Rhabdoviridae contains 11 viruses: rabies virus (RABV), Lagos bat virus, Mokola virus, Duvenhage virus, European bat lyssaviruses types 1 and 2 (EBLV-1 and EBLV-2), Australian bat lyssavirus, Aravan virus (ARAV), Khujand virus (KHUV), Irkut virus, and West Caucasian bat virus (2). A proposed new species, Shimoni bat virus, has recently been isolated from Hipposideros commersoni leaf-nosed bats (3). Although RABV, which circulates in dogs, causes most of the ≈55,000 human deaths from rabies per year, most bat lyssaviruses have been demonstrated to cause human rabies (4).
From 1977 through 2009, a total of 928 cases of bat rabies (EBLV-1 and EBLV-2) were detected in Europe, but only 10 of the 45 known indigenous bat species tested positive for lyssavirus; most were serotine bats (Eptesicus serotinus) associated with EBLV-1 (5,6). In Germany, bat rabies has been known since the middle of the 20th century, and most isolated viruses were characterized as EBLV-1 (6). EBLV-2 is associated with Myotis spp. bats (M. daubentonii and M. dascyneme) and has only sporadically been found in Europe and in Germany (7). The transmission of EBLV-1 and EBLV-2 in bats in Europe is still only poorly understood (8). We report lyssavirus infection in a Natterer's bat.
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Suggested Citation for this Article
Freuling C, Beer M, Contraths FJ, Finke S, Hoffmann B, Keller B, et al. Novel lyssavirus in Natterer's bat, Germany. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2011 Aug [date cited]. http://www.cdc.gov/EID/content/17/8/110201.htm
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Conrad M. Freuling, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Epidemiology, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Rabies Surveillance and Research, D-16868 Wusterhausen, Germany; email: email@example.com