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RHABDOVIRIDAE PETER H. RUSSELL, BVSc, PhD, FRCPath, MRCVS Department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases, The Royal Veterinary College, Royal College Street, London NW1 OTU. E-mail Web site LEARNING OBJECTIVES Students should be able to: • Describe rabies pathogenesis in mammals, including bats • Relate rabies epidemiology in different countries to the control measures used. • Name the four requirements in the rabies control strategy recently introduced as an alternative to quarantine in the UK. FAMILY CHARACTERISTICS: (Rhabdo = rod ) RABIES Notifiable; zoonotic; rare in UK but several cases have been veterinarians! RABIES Non-fatal infections are rare but skunks and foxes may recover; dogs can have mild symptoms, recover and remain as excretors. Recovered animals have antibodies. These infections are important in spreading the virus in the environment. RABIES ANTIGENICITY: only one type required in vaccine RABIES HOST RANGE: All mammals are susceptible including bats RABIES CONTROL: The strategy depends on whether rabies is endemic or whether the country is free of virus. Virus-free countries: RABIES CONTROL: Virus endemic countries: RABIES CONTROL: In humans: Summary • Rabies targets the nervous system and brain causing a fatal infection; transmitted by biting as virus in saliva; zoonotic. • Rabies-free countries aim to keep rabies out by quarantine; countries with endemic rabies in wildlife control rabies by reducing wildlife numbers +/- vaccination of wildlife. • In the UK, the Pet Travel Scheme has been introduced to replace quarantine but for movements between specified countries only.
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