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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To identify rabies virus variants (RVVs) isolated from bats and terrestrial mammals in Nuevo Leon between 2008 and 2015 and Coahuila in 2006.

SAMPLE

RVVs isolated from 15 bats and terrestrial mammals in Nuevo Leon and from a cow (Bos taurus) in Coahuila, along with 46 reference rabies virus sequences.

PROCEDURES

Antigenic characterization of the 16 isolates was performed with an indirect fluorescent antibody technique. Genomic sequencing of the nucleoprotein gene in the 16 isolates was performed with a reverse transcription PCR assay. Phylogenetic reconstruction of the 62 sequences was performed by means of Bayesian inference.

RESULTS

9 isolates from bats and 1 isolate from a domestic cat that became infected as a result of contact with a Mexican free-tailed bat all clustered in the lineage associated with Lasiurus spp in the Americas or the lineage associated with Tadarida brasiliensis mexicana. An isolate from a domestic dog was identified as a variant associated with the dog-coyote lineage. The RVV isolated from a fox clustered in an Arizona fox lineage. The 3 RVVs from skunks (Mephitis macroura) were placed in a lineage with variants isolated from spotted skunks (Spilogale putorius). The RVV isolated from the cow was clustered in a lineage associated with foxes in Texas and separate from the lineage for the fox from Nuevo Leon.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results reinforced the need for Mexico to implement rabies surveillance and monitoring programs for bats and wild-living terrestrial carnivores.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To provide epidemiological information on animal and human cases of rabies in the US during 2020 and summaries of 2020 rabies surveillance for Canada and Mexico.

ANIMALS

All animals submitted for laboratory diagnosis of rabies in the US during 2020.

PROCEDURES

State and territorial public health departments and USDA Wildlife Services provided 2020 rabies surveillance data. Data were analyzed temporally and geographically to assess trends in domestic and wildlife rabies cases.

RESULTS

During 2020, 54 jurisdictions submitted 87,895 animal samples for rabies testing, of which 85,483 (97.3%) had a conclusive (positive or negative) test result. Of these, 4,479 (5.2%) tested positive for rabies, representing a 4.5% decrease from the 4,690 cases reported in 2019. Texas (n = 580 [12.9%]), Pennsylvania (371 [8.3%]), Virginia (351 [7.8%]), New York (346 [7.7%]), North Carolina (301 [6.7%]), New Jersey (257 [5.7%]), Maryland (256 [5.7%]), and California (248 [5.5%]) together accounted for > 60% of all animal rabies cases reported in 2020. Of the total reported rabid animals, 4,090 (91.3%) involved wildlife, with raccoons (n = 1,403 [31.3%]), bats (1,400 [31.3%]), skunks (846 [18.9%]), and foxes (338 [7.5%]) representing the primary hosts confirmed with rabies. Rabid cats (288 [6.4%]), cattle (43 [1.0%]), and dogs (37 [0.8%]) accounted for 95% of rabies cases involving domestic animals in 2020. No human rabies cases were reported in 2020.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

For the first time since 2006, the number of samples submitted for rabies testing in the US was < 90,000; this is thought to be due to factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as similar decreases in sample submission were also reported by Canada and Mexico.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association