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  • Author or Editor: James E. Childs x
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To describe surveillance trends and epidemiologic features of rabies in bats in the United States, focusing on 3 bat species primarily associated with variants of the rabies virus that affect humans.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—31,380 bats.

Procedure—Data on rabies for bats identified to species and reported by state laboratories from 1993 to 2000 were analyzed, focusing on silver-haired, eastern pipistrelle, and Brazilian free-tailed bats. Categoric variables were derived from other provided information.

Results—Data were reported from 37 states during the study interval; complete species-specific data were not reported by any state for the entire interval. Bats primarily associated with rabies virus variants affecting humans were more likely to yield positive test results for rabies (22.7%), compared with all other bats (5.5%) in most seasons and from most regions of the United States. However, certain other bat species had higher percentages of positive results. Risk of positive results was highest in the fall and highest among bats originating in the southwestern United States.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Increased risk of rabies among certain groups of bat species was consistently found across seasons and most geographic regions of the United States. Results were in general agreement with those of previous studies conducted within smaller geographic regions. There are ongoing efforts to improve surveillance of rabies in bats, although surveillance is incomplete in some regions. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222: 633–639)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether dogs in New York, NY are naturally infected with Rickettsia akari, the causative agent of rickettsialpox in humans.

Design—Serologic survey.

Animals—311 dogs.

Procedure—Serum samples were obtained from dogs as a part of a study on Rocky Mountain spotted fever and borreliosis or when dogs were examined at area veterinary clinics for routine care. Dog owners were asked to complete a questionnaire inquiring about possible risk factors at the time serum samples were obtained. Samples were tested for reactivity to spotted fever group rickettsiae by use of an enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Twenty-two samples for which results were positive were tested by use of an indirect immunofluorescence antibody (IFA) assay followed by confirmatory cross-absorption testing.

Results—Results of the EIA were positive for 24 (7.7%) dogs. A history of tick infestation and increasing age were significantly associated with whether dogs were seropositive. Distribution of seropositive dogs was focal. Seventeen of the 22 samples submitted for IFA testing had titers to R rickettsii and R akari; for 11 of these, titers to R akari were higher than titers to R rickettsii. Cross-absorption testing indicated that in 6 of 7 samples, infection was caused by R akari.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that dogs can be naturally infected with R akari. Further studies are needed to determine the incidence of R akari infection in dogs, whether infection is associated with clinical illness, and whether dogs can serve as sentinels for human disease. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1780–1782)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association