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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


CUNHA, Elenice Maria Sequetin et al. Bat rabies in the north-northwestern regions of the state of São Paulo, Brazil: 1997-2002. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2006, vol.40, n.6, pp.1082-1086. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: Reports on bat rabies in Brazil are sporadic and isolated. This study aimed at describing the detection of rabies virus in bats in the state of São Paulo. METHODS: A total of 7,393 bats from 235 municipalities of the north and northwestern areas of the state of São Paulo, Southeastern Brazil, were assessed according to their morphological and morphometric characteristics from 1997 to 2002. Fluorescent antibody test and mice inoculation were used for viral identification. RESULTS: Of all samples examined, 1.3% was rabies virus positive, ranging from 0.2% in 1997 to 1.6% in 2001. There were found 98 bats infected, 87 in the urban area. Fluorescent antibody test was detected in 77 positive samples, whereas 92 produced rabies signs in mice; incubation period ranging from 4 to 23 days. In 43 cities at least one rabid bat was observed. The highest proportion (33.7%) of rabies virus was found in Artibeus lituratus. Eptesicus and Myotis were the most frequent positive species (24.5%) of the Vespertilionidae family. The species Molossus molossus and Molossus rufus showed 14.3% positive bats. There were no differences in the distribution of positive rabies between females (33; 48.5%) and males (35; 51.5%). CONCLUSIONS: Rabies-infected bats were found in environments that pose a risk to both human and domestic animal population and there is a need for actions aiming at the control of these species and public education.

Keywords : Chiroptera; Rabies virus; Urban zones; Phlilostomidae; Vespertilionidae; Molossidae.

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