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Australian Bat Lyssavirus

Barrett, J. L. (2004) Australian Bat Lyssavirus. PhD thesis, The University of Queensland, 405 pages.



In Chapter 1, the literature relating to rabies virus and the rabies like lyssaviruses is reviewed. In Chapter 2, data are presented from 1170 diagnostic submissions for ABLV testing by fluorescent antibody test (Centocor FAT). All 27 non-bat submissions were ABLV-negative. Of 1143 bat accessions 74 (16%) were ABLV-positive, including 69 of 974 (7.1%) flying foxes (Pteropus spp.), 5 of 7 (71.4%) Saccolaimus flaviventris (Yellow-bellied sheathtail bats), none of 151 other microchiropteran bats, and none of 11 unidentified bats. Statistical analysis of data from 868 wild Black, Grey-headed, Little Red and Spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus alecto, P. poliocephalus, P. scapulatus, and P. conspicillatus) indicated that three factors; species, health status and age were associated with significant (p< 0.001) differences in the proportion of ABLV-positive bats. Other factors including sex, whether the bat bit a person or animal, region, year, and season submitted, were not associated with ABLV. Case data for 74 ABLV-positive bats, including the circumstances in which they were found and clinical signs, is presented. In Chapter 3, the aetiological diagnosis was investigated for 100 consecutive flying fox submissions with neurological signs. ABLV (32%), spinal and head injuries (29%), and neuro-angiostrongylosis (18%) accounted for most neurological syndromes in flying foxes. No evidence of lead poisoning was found in unwell (n=16) or healthy flying foxes (n=50). No diagnosis was reached for 16 cases, all of which were negative for ABLV by TaqMan PCR. The molecular diversity of ABLV was examined in Chapter 4 by sequencing 36 bases of the leader sequence, the entire N gene, and start of the P gene of 28 isolates from pteropid bats and 3 isolates from Yellow-bellied sheathtail (YBST) bats. Phylogenetic analysis indicated all ABLV isolates clustered together as a discrete group within the Lyssavirus genera closely related to rabies virus and European bat lyssavirus-2 isolates. The ABLV lineage consisted of two variants; one (ybst-ABLV) consisted of isolates only from YBST bats, the other (pteropid-ABLV) was common to Black, Grey-headed and Little Red flying foxes. No associations were found between the sequences and either the geographical location or year found, or individual flying fox species. In Chapter 5, 15 inocula prepared from the brains or salivary glands of naturally-infected bats were evaluated by intracerebral (IC) and footpad (FP) inoculation of Quackenbush mice in order to select and characterize a highly virulent inoculum for further use in bats (Inoculum 5). In Chapter 6, nine Grey-headed flying foxes were inoculated with 105.2 to 105.5 MICED50 of Inoculum 5 divided into four sites, left footpad, pectoral muscle, temporal muscle and muzzle. Another bat was inoculated with half this dose divided into the footpad and pectoral muscle only. Seven of 10 bats developed clinical disease of 1 to 4 days duration between PI-days 10 and 19 and were shown to be ABL-positive by FAT, HAM immunoperoxidase staining, virus isolation in mice, and TaqMan PCR. Five of the seven bats displayed overt aggression, one died during a seizure, and one showed intractable agitation, pacing, tremors, and ataxia. Viral antigen was demonstrated throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems and in the epithelial cells of the submandibular salivary glands (n=4). All affected bats had mild to moderate non-suppurative meningoencephalitis and severe ganglioneuritis. No ABLV was detected in three bats that remained well until the end of the experiment on day 82. One survivor developed a strong but transient antibody response. In Chapter 7, the relative virulence of inocula prepared from the brains and salivary glands of experimentally infected flying foxes was evaluated in mice by IC and FP inoculation and TaqMan assay. The effects in mice were correlated to the TaqMan CT value and indicated a crude association between virulence and CT value that has potential application in the selection of inocula. In Chapter 8, 36 Black and Grey-headed flying foxes were vaccinated with one (day 0) or two (+ day 28) doses of Nobivac rabies vaccine and co-vaccinated with keyhole limpet haemocyanin (KLH). All bats responded to the Nobivac vaccine with a rabies-RFFIT titer > 0.5 IU/mL that is nominally indicative of protective immunity. Plasma from bats with rabies titres >2 IU/mL had cross-neutralising ABLV titres >1:154. A specifically developed ELISA detected a strong but transient response to KLH.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:Reproduced with Author permission.
Keywords:Bat; flying Fox; Pteropus; Pteropid; fruit bat; rabies; lyssavirus; Rhabdovirus; epidemiology; molecular phylogeny; vaccination; Nobivac; central nervous system disease; pathology; histopathology; immunohistopathology; mouse; mice; experimental infection; risk factors.
Subjects:Science > Microbiology > Virology
Veterinary medicine > Diseases of special classes of animals
Live Archive:19 May 2009 06:32
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:48

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