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An investigation of Rabies virus study genetic lineages specific to the bats Desmodus rotundus and Artibeus spp. using genomic analysis of viral populations isolated from these reservoirs using the sequencing by Illumina MiSeq platform

Grant number: 19/04023-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2019
Effective date (End): May 18, 2021
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Collective Health - Public Health
Principal researcher:Juliana Galera Castilho Kawai
Grantee:Débora Nunes de Souza
Home Institution: Instituto Pasteur (IP). Coordenadoria de Controle de Doenças (CCD). Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Rabies is still a major issue in public health, mainly in developing countries, where the disease is endemic, with circa 59,000 human deaths per year. In Brazil, after the massive dog vaccination during public campaigns, there was a reduction in the occurrence of dog Rabies. From 2005 to 2015, 76 cases of human Rabies were reported in Brazil, bats being involved in 75.7% of the cases. In South and Southern Brazil, dog and cat Rabies caused by the canine lineage Antigenic variant 2 is under control, though these animals are still under the risk of infection with bat lineages of RABV, mainly the Desmodus rotundus/Artibeus spp. lineage. Until now, based solely on the N and G genes, it was not possible to find genetic signatures in this lineage to differentiate between Artibeus spp and D. rotundus strains, a key step to better understand the epidemiology of the and improve control methods. To this end, this study will include 90 Rabies virus isolates (49 related to D. rotundus 41 to Artibeus spp), all from São Paulo State. These strains will be submitted to random ds-cDNA synthesis and Illumina deep sequencing and full genomes assemble de novo will be then used to genomic and gene phylogenies and for the search of lineage-specific signatures. Improving the epidemiological surveillance for the control of the disease in the country. (AU)

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