n Journal of the South African Veterinary Association - Report of isolations of unusual lyssaviruses (rabies and Mokola virus) identified retrospectively from Zimbabwe : short communication - : short communication

Volume 72, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1019-9128
  • E-ISSN: 2224-9435


Rabies isolates that had been stored between 1983 and 1997 were examined with a panel of anti-lyssavirus nucleocapsid monoclonal antibodies. Out of 56 isolates from cats and various wild carnivore species, 1 isolate of Mokola virus and 5 other non-typical rabies viruses were identified. The Mokola virus isolate was diagnosed as rabies in 1993 from a cat. Genetic analysis of this isolate suggests that it falls in a distinct subgroup of the Mokola virus genotype. The 5 non-typical rabies viruses were isolated from honey badgers (<i>Mellivora capensis</i>), African civets (<i>Civettictis civetta</i>) and an unidentified mongoose (Herpestidae). These isolates are representatives of rarely-reported wildlife-associated strains of rabies, probably maintained by the slender mongoose (<i>Galerella sanguinea</i>). These findings indicate that both Mokola virus and the mongoose-associated variant may be more common in Zimbabwe than is apparent from routine surveillance.

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