Antigenic and genetic characterization of the first rabies virus isolated from the bat Eumops perotis in Brazil

Caracterização antigênica e genética do primeiro isolado de vírus da raiva em morcego Eumops perotis no Brasil

Although the main transmitters of rabies in Brazil are dogs and vampire bats, the role of other species such as insectivorous and frugivorous bats deserves special attention, as the rabies virus has been isolated from 36 bat species. This study describes the first isolation of the rabies virus from the insectivorous bat Eumops perotis. The infected animal was found in the city of Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo. The virus was identified by immunofluorescence antibody test (FAT) in central nervous system (CNS) samples, and the isolation was carried out in N2A cell culture and adult mice. The sample was submitted to antigenic typing using a panel of monoclonal antibodies (CDC/Atlanta/USA). The DNA sequence of the nucleoprotein gene located between nucleotides 102 and 1385 was aligned with homologous sequences from GenBank using the CLUSTAL/W method, and the alignment was used to build a neighbor-joining distance-based phylogenetic tree with the K-2-P model. CNS was negative by FAT, and only one mouse died after inoculation with a suspension from the bat's CNS. Antigenic typing gave a result that was not compatible with the patterns defined by the panel. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the virus isolated segregated into the same cluster related to other viruses isolated from insectivorous bats belonging to genus Nyctinomops ssp. (98.8% nucleotide identity with each other).

Rabies; Chiroptera; RT-PCR; Sequence analysis

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