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Insights into Australian bat lyssavirus in insectivorous bats of Western Australia

Prada, D., Boyd, V., Baker, M., Jackson, B.ORCID: 0000-0002-8622-8035 and O’Dea, M.ORCID: 0000-0002-2757-7585 (2019) Insights into Australian bat lyssavirus in insectivorous bats of Western Australia. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, 4 (1). Article 46.

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Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) is a known causative agent of neurological disease in bats, humans and horses. It has been isolated from four species of pteropid bats and a single microbat species (Saccolaimus flaviventris). To date, ABLV surveillance has primarily been passive, with active surveillance concentrating on eastern and northern Australian bat populations. As a result, there is scant regional ABLV information for large areas of the country. To better inform the local public health risks associated with human-bat interactions, this study describes the lyssavirus prevalence in microbat communities in the South West Botanical Province of Western Australia. We used targeted real-time PCR assays to detect viral RNA shedding in 839 oral swabs representing 12 species of microbats, which were sampled over two consecutive summers spanning 2016–2018. Additionally, we tested 649 serum samples via Luminex® assay for reactivity to lyssavirus antigens. Active lyssavirus infection was not detected in any of the samples. Lyssavirus antibodies were detected in 19 individuals across six species, with a crude prevalence of 2.9% (95% CI: 1.8–4.5%) over the two years. In addition, we present the first records of lyssavirus exposure in two Nyctophilus species, and Falsistrellus mackenziei.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
United Nations SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
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