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Open Access Short Report

Molecular epidemiology of livestock rabies viruses isolated in the northeastern Brazilian states of Paraíba and Pernambuco from 2003 - 2009

Nobuyuki Mochizuki1, Hiroyuki Kawasaki1, Maria LCR Silva2, José AB Afonso3, Takuya Itou1*, Fumio H Ito4 and Takeo Sakai1

Author Affiliations

1 Nihon University Veterinary Research Center, Nihon University, 1866 Kameino, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0880, Japan

2 Academic Unit of Veterinary Medicine, Center of Health and Rural Technology, Federal University of Campina Grande, Campus of Patos, Avenida Santa Cecília, P.O. Box 64, 587000-000 Patos, PB, Brazil

3 Bovine Clinic, Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, Campus of Garanhuns, Avenida Bom Pastor s/n, Bairro Mundaú, Bairro Mundaú Boa Vista, SP.O. Box 152, 55292-270 Garanhuns, PE, Brazil

4 Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine and Animal health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechny, University of São Paulo, Av. Prof. Dr. Orlando Marques de paiva, 87, Cidade Universtiátria, São Paulo 05508-000, SP, Brazil

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:32  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-32

Published: 16 January 2012



Limited or no epidemiological information has been reported for rabies viruses (RABVs) isolated from livestock in the northeastern Brazilian states of Paraíba (PB) and Pernambuco (PE). The aim of this study was to clarify the molecular epidemiology of RABVs circulating in livestock, especially cattle, in these areas between 2003 and 2009.


Phylogenetic analysis based on 890 nt of the nucleoprotein (N) gene revealed that the 52 livestock-derived RABV isolates characterized here belonged to a single lineage. These isolates clustered with a vampire bat-related RABV lineage previously identified in other states in Brazil; within PB and PE, this lineage was divided between the previously characterized main lineage and a novel sub-lineage.


The occurrences of livestock rabies in PB and PE originated from vampire bat RABVs, and the causative RABV lineage has been circulating in this area of northeastern Brazil for at least 7 years. This distribution pattern may correlate to that of a vampire bat population isolated by geographic barriers.