Genetic characterization of rabies viruses isolated from frugivorous bat (Artibeus spp.) in Brazil
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In Latin America, rabies cases related to frugivorous bats have been reported since 1930's. Recently, two viruses isolated from Artibeus lituratus were proved to be vampire bat variants by monoclonal antibodies panels , but their genetic information is not well known. In this report, four rabies viruses were isolated from frugivorous bats (Artibeus spp.) in Brazil and their nucleoprotein gene sequences were determined. These isolates were found to be genotype 1 of lyssavirus and showed the maximum nucleotide sequence homology of 97.6-99.4% with vampire bat-related viruses in Brazil . These results indicate that the Brazilian frugivorous bat rabies viruses in this study are closely related to vampire bat-related viruses that play a main role in rabies virus transmission to livestock in Brazil.