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Prevalence of neutralizing antibodies to rabies virus in serum of seven species of insectivorous bats from Colorado and New Mexico, United States

Journal of Wildlife Diseases

By:
, , , , , and
DOI: 10.7589/2012-05-124

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Abstract

We determined the presence of rabies-virus-neutralizing antibodies (RVNA) in serum of 721 insectivorous bats of seven species captured, sampled, and released in Colorado and New Mexico, United States in 2003-2005. A subsample of 160 bats was tested for rabies-virus RNA in saliva. We sampled little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) at two maternity roosts in Larimer County, Colorado; big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) at three maternity roosts in Morgan County, Colorado; and big brown bats at five maternity roosts in Larimer County. We also sampled hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus) and silver-haired bats (Lasionycteris noctivagans) captured while drinking or foraging over water in Bernalillo County, New Mexico and at various locations in Larimer County. Big brown bats, little brown bats, long-legged myotis (Myotis volans), long-eared myotis (Myotis evotis), and fringed myotis (Myotis thysanodes) were also sampled over water in Larimer County. All species except long-eared myotis included individuals with RVNA, with prevalences ranging from 7% in adult female silver-haired bats to 32% in adult female hoary bats. None of the bats had detectable rabies-virus RNA in oropharyngeal swabs, including 51 bats of 5 species that had RVNA in serum. Antibody-positive bats were present in nine of the 10 maternity colonies sampled. These data suggest that wild bats are commonly exposed to rabies virus and develop a humoral immune response suggesting some degree of viral replication, but many infections fail to progress to clinical disease.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Prevalence of neutralizing antibodies to rabies virus in serum of seven species of insectivorous bats from Colorado and New Mexico, United States
Series title:
Journal of Wildlife Diseases
DOI:
10.7589/2012-05-124
Volume
49
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
Wildlife Disease Association
Contributing office(s):
Fort Collins Science Center
Description:
8 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Wildlife Diseases
First page:
367
Last page:
374
Country:
United States
State:
Colorado;New Mexico