Bat-borne rabies in latin America

Luis E. Escobar, Townsend Peterson, Myriam Favi, VeróNica Yung, Gonzalo Medina-Vogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The situation of rabies in America is complex: rabies in dogs has decreased dramatically, but bats are increasingly recognized as natural reservoirs of other rabies variants. Here, bat species known to be rabies-positive with different antigenic variants, are summarized in relation to bat conservation status across Latin America. Rabies virus is widespread in Latin American bat species, 22.5%75 of bat species have been confirmed as rabies-positive. Most bat species found rabies positive are classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as “Least Concern”. According to diet type, insectivorous bats had the most species known as rabies reservoirs, while in proportion hematophagous bats were the most important. Research at coarse spatial scales must strive to understand rabies ecology; basic information on distribution and population dynamics of many Latin American and Caribbean bat species is needed; and detailed information on effects of landscape change in driving bat-borne rabies outbreaks remains unassessed. Finally, integrated approaches including public health, ecology, and conservation biology are needed to understand and prevent emergent diseases in bats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
JournalRevista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de Sao Paulo
Volume57
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Bats
  • Biodiversity
  • Geographic distribution
  • Rabies virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases

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