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Novel Lyssavirus in Natterer's Bat, Germany | CDC EID ► Volume 17, Number 8–August 2011

full-text ►Novel Lyssavirus in Natterer's Bat, Germany | CDC EID: "EID Journal Home > Volume 17, Number 8–August 2011
Volume 17, Number 8–August 2011
Novel Lyssavirus in Natterer's Bat, Germany
Conrad M. Freuling, Comments to Author Martin Beer, Franz J. Conraths, Stefan Finke, Bernd Hoffmann, Barbara Keller, Jeannette Kliemt, Thomas C. Mettenleiter, Elke Mühlbach, Jens P. Teifke, Peter Wohlsein, and Thomas Müller

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].

DOI: 10.3201/eid1708.110201

Comments to the Authors

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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:

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