a1 Sección Rabia, Subdepartamento Virología, Instituto de Salud Pública de Chile, Santiago, Chile
a2 Subdepartamento Genética Molecular, Instituto de Salud Pública de Chile, Santiago, Chile
In Chile, dog rabies has been controlled and insectivorous bats have been identified as the main rabies reservoir. This study aimed to determine the rabies virus (RABV) variants circulating in the country between 2002 and 2008. A total of 612 RABV isolates were tested using a panel with eight monoclonal antibodies against the viral nucleoprotein (N-mAbs) for antigenic typing, and a product of 320-bp of the nucleoprotein gene was sequenced from 99 isolates. Typing of the isolates revealed six different antigenic variants but phylogenetic analysis identified four clusters associated with four different bat species. Tadarida brasiliensis bats were confirmed as the main reservoir. This methodology identified several independent rabies enzootics maintained by different species of insectivorous bats in Chile.
(Received July 20 2011)
(Revised February 23 2012)
(Accepted March 04 2012)
(Online publication March 30 2012)