ISSN 2398-2993      

Rabies

obovis
Contributor(s):

Vetstream Ltd

Mike Reynolds

Synonym(s): Mannheimia haemolytica


Introduction

  • Cause: an infection caused by the rabies virus, which manifests as neurologic disease.
  • Notifiable disease in most countries, including UK, USA, Canada and Australia.
  • Zoonosis: fatal to humans.
  • Transmitted by bite or saliva contact (with broken skin or intact mucous membrane) from a rabid animal.
  • Signs: varied (see below).
  • Diagnosis: see below.
  • Treatment: none, but vaccines are available.
  • Prognosis: invariably fatal.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Rabies virus, a Lyssavirus, which infects all mammals and birds.

Predisposing factors

General

  • All cattle are susceptible to infection.

Specific

  • Cattle are usually infected by a bite wound inflicted by a rabid animal, such as a raccoon, skunk or fox. Bites are often around the face or muzzle.
  • Other methods of transmission (inhalation, oral inoculation, transplacental, or transmammary) are theoretically possible.

Pathophysiology

  • Bite from a rabid animal → inoculation of rabies-infected saliva into sub-epithelium and striated muscle → virus replication at the site of bite wound → infection of motor and sensory nerves once sufficient concentration of virus is reached → centripetal spread from site of inoculation to spinal cord and CNS via neuronal axons.
  • Clinical signs dependent on sites of viral replication within CNS.
  • From CNS virions move centrifugally in peripheral nerves to all highly innervated organs, including salivary glands → bud from plasma membranes of mucous cells and are released in high concentrations in saliva.

Timecourse

  • Incubation period is very variable and depends on:
    • Local replication of virus in muscle at wound site before migrating to nervous tissues (=latency).
    • Site of bite wound (proximity to CNS).
    • Dose of inoculated virus.
    • Pathogenicity of strain of inoculated virus.
  • Generally, from 2-9 weeks, but can be several months.
  • Death usually occurs within 2-10 days after onset of clinical signs.

Epidemiology

  • Wildlife reservoirs include bats, foxes, raccoons and skunks (North America), red foxes (Europe), vampire bats (Latin America) and domestic / feral dogs and mongoose (Africa and Asia).
  • Higher incidence of rabies seen in late summer months in North America when density of wildlife population has reached a peak.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Rinchen et al (2018) Cross sectional survey on knowledge, attitude, practices and risk perception regarding rabies among cattle owners in two districts of Bhutan. Int J Infect Diseases 73, 226 Ijidonline
  • Tariku et al (2016) Incidence and economic impact of rabies in the cattle population of Ethiopia. Prevent Med 130, 67-76 ScienceDirect.
  • Krebs J W, Mondul A M, Rupprecht C E & Childs J E (2001) Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2000. JAVMA 219 (12), 1687-1699 Pubmed.
  • Martinez-Burnes et al (1997) An outbreak of vampire bat transmitted rabies in cattle in northeastern Mexico. Can Vet J 38 (3). 175-177 PubMed.
  • Hudson L C, Weinstock D, Jordan T & Bold-Fletcher N O (1996) Clinical features of experimentally induced rabies in cattle and sheep. J Vet Med 43, 85-95 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (2018) Rabies Control Strategy for Great Britain. Website: www.assets.publishing.service.gov.uk.
  • Brown, C M, Slavinski S, Ettestad P, Sidwa T J & Sorhage F E (2016) Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control NASPHV.
  • Dee Whittier W (2006) Rabies in Cattle a Continual Threat in Virginia. In: Virginia Cooperative Extension Livestock Newsletter. Website: www.sites.ext.
  • Rupprecht C E (1996) Rhabdoviruses: Rabies Virus. In: Medical Microbiology. 4th edn. Ed: Baron S. Elsevier, USA NCBI.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Rabies. Website: www.cdc.gov.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control. Website: www.cdc.gov.

Organisation(s)

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Website: www.cdc.gov.

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