Archives of Virology

, 152:273 | Cite as

Epidemiology of bat rabies in Germany

  • T. Müller
  • N. Johnson
  • C. M. Freuling
  • A. R. Fooks
  • T. Selhorst
  • A. Vos
Article

Summary.

Rabies in European bats was first reported in Germany in 1954. In concordance with Denmark and the Netherlands, Germany has reported one of the highest numbers (n = 187) of European bat lyssavirus (EBLV)-positive cases in bats in Europe so far (1954–2005). A combined descriptive epidemiological and phylogenetic analysis on bat rabies and prevailing EBLVs is presented, comprising the past 50 years. So far, only the two lineages of EBLV-1 (genotype 5), a and b, have been detected. Although only 50% of the rabies-positive bats have been identified by species, the Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) is the bat species most frequently infected. Single rabies cases have also been detected in a further five indigenous bat species. There is proven evidence for a substantial bias in the frequency of bat rabies cases in the north of Germany, with an endemic cluster in the northwesternmost low-lying plain areas adjacent to the Netherlands and Denmark. Improvements to bat rabies surveillance and research are discussed.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Müller
    • 1
  • N. Johnson
    • 2
  • C. M. Freuling
    • 1
  • A. R. Fooks
    • 2
  • T. Selhorst
    • 1
  • A. Vos
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Epidemiology, WHO Collaborating Centre for Rabies Surveillance and Research, OIE Reference Laboratory for Rabies, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute – Federal Research Institute for Animal HealthWusterhausenGermany
  2. 2.Rabies and Wildlife Zoonoses Group, WHO Collaborating Centre for the Characterization of Rabies and Rabies-Related Viruses, Veterinary Laboratories Agency WeybridgeUK
  3. 3.Impfstoffwerk Dessau – Tornau GmbHRosslauGermany

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