Rhabdoviruses: rabies and rabies-related lyssaviruses

M.J. Warrell and David A. Warrell

in Oxford Textbook of Medicine

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199204854
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199570973 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Rhabdoviruses: rabies and rabies-related lyssaviruses

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  • Medical Microbiology and Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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The Rhabdoviridae are a large family of RNA viruses, two genera of which infect animals: the genus Lyssavirus contains rabies and rabies-related viruses that cause at least 55 000 deaths annually in Asia and Africa.

The risks and problems posed by rabies and other lyssaviruses vary across the world. Virus can penetrate broken skin and intact mucosae. Humans are usually infected when virus-laden saliva is inoculated through the skin by the bite of a rabid animal, usually a dog. Although the greatest threat to man is the persistent cycle of infection in stray dogs, several other terrestrial mammal species are reservoirs of infection. In the Americas, bat viruses are also classic genotype 1 rabies and insectivorous bats have become the principal vectors of infection to humans in the United States of America. Elsewhere in the world, there is increasing evidence of widespread rabies-related lyssavirus infection of bats. Unrecognized infection of organ donors has proved fatal to transplant recipients....

Chapter.  9718 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Microbiology and Virology ; Infectious Diseases

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